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So Why do You Think Constantine Chose Christianity


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#18 cwes99_03

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 07:58 AM

I understand your opinions and strong points.

I make one comment to try to put this to an end. Wikipedia is not infallible. They as much as admit this in that anyone can make changes to the website, and I mean anyone. I once edited the selection on Doppler Effect (changed the equations all around.) Three days later, I came back and changed them all back.
Anyone who would have visited in those three days would have gotten a wrong understanding of the equations.
Likewise, since anyone can throw their two cents in, Wikipedia is not the most accurate, though it is the most accessible. People are constantly discussing changes that need to be made.

1) Yes, Jesus taught a return to the pure worship of the Judaic god, YHWH, or Jehovah. I don't like calling this Judaism though, because Judaic beliefs had obviously changed from the original teachings of the OT by the time it is accepted to have become a religion (6th century or so BCE).
2) Yes, Jesus' first disciples were all Jews. He as much said he was there only to preach to the Jews. However, the OT also states that the work was later opened to all nations, tribes, and tongues. While he used the OT in his ministry, he also reproved the Saducees and the Pharisees (Jewish religious leaders) for their unrighteousness.

Now how about my earlier comments on why Constantine made the changes and adopted the religion.

#19 HydrogenBond

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 04:54 PM

One argument that is overlooked is that Jesus was the son of God. From that position of power and authority, it was only a matter of time until Christianity would be preached to all the nations,beginning with the most powerful nation on the earth at 400 AD.

Rationalists don't like the word God, but if God is symbolic of the same evolutionary potential that drives the progression of all of nature, evolution was interceding to alter history in a progressive way. If one considers the collective accomplishments and shortcomings of Christian nations, it has molded the world into what we have today. The rest of the nations are assimilating this final product peacefully just as Jesus taught.

#20 cwes99_03

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 12:40 PM

Thus you come back to the question I asked on the sociology thread "americans don't believe in evolution"

You equate the occurences in human history to a natural evolutionary occurence. This would likewise mean that all things that happen (those that have happened and those that will happen) are part of some evolutionary process that, at least it seems that you are saying, is beyond our control, as biological evolution is.
Do you see the fallacy in that argument?
Let's stick to an examination of history to see if we can identifiy a cause and effect and not just trump things up to "evolution made it happen" especially with all the other evolution threads going on on Hypography.

#21 alexander

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 04:39 PM

If one considers the collective accomplishments and shortcomings of Christian nations, it has molded the world into what we have today. The rest of the nations are assimilating this final product peacefully just as Jesus taught.

sorry to bring a rainy day to your sunny statement, i don't think that our society is quite as good as you seem to want to promote it as...

What we have in the world today is a buch of beurocratic nations trying and seizing any and all opportunity to wage war against another, there is something like 10 conflicts going on in the world right now... What we have today is 6 billion people using up natural resources hundreds of times faster then they could be produced, to think that we could be dozens of years of evolution ahead, if only back in time chruch allowed scientiffic practice and didn't burn people like Galileo at the stake for being a scientist.

We are still dealing with the after effects of WWII in the middle east, war that in its entirety was faught by bible-readers and started as hatred by a catholic of the the jews, as much as the first world war and 95% of all wars that have been fought since 500 A.D. have in one way or another been started by or involved a large amount of christians. Needless to say that many settlements were forced to change to christianity and anyone that would not were killed.

Christianity is not a peaceful religion, want to see a peaceful religion, read about buddhaism, but dont try to say that our seemingly peaceful (not in reality) world is due to christians, needless to say that christianity is not the most practiced religion in the world. Or that technological progress is due to the church... linguistical progress, schools and press are direct outcomes of middle age church, hawking's paradox is due to almost the opposite...

Cwes, i do understand your concern with wikipedia, i think that anyone should be able to contribute, but only those who are responsible, educated, have proven themselves and are declared as wiki moderators should have the ability to delete the content...

as to your earlier comments, i dont beleive that christians had an army by like 3-400 ad, however there was concern for a revolt, but all Constantine had to do is law the christians back in. Oh if i am not mistaken, roman army still remained pagan for a while after constantine started his conversion... i may be wrong, but dont quite have the time to double check that...

#22 cwes99_03

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 08:08 AM

Alex take a step back and edit your post to be a bit more exact. You make some sweeping statements that you should try to pin down a bit more.

sorry to bring a rainy day to your sunny statement, i don't think that our society is quite as good as you seem to want to promote it as...

Good point here. The world today is very violent, and just about every religion on the face of the planet plays a part.

What we have in the world today is a buch of beurocratic nations trying and seizing any and all opportunity to wage war against another, there is something like 10 conflicts going on in the world right now... What we have today is 6 billion people using up natural resources hundreds of times faster then they could be produced, to think that we could be dozens of years of evolution ahead, if only back in time chruch allowed scientiffic practice and didn't burn people like Galileo at the stake for being a scientist.


Not necessarily trying to wage war, but constantly trying to get the upper hand on one another, and finally that leads to war if one can't find any other way to dominate the other.

We are still dealing with the after effects of WWII in the middle east, war that in its entirety was faught by bible-readers and started as hatred by a catholic of the the jews, as much as the first world war and 95% of all wars that have been fought since 500 A.D. have in one way or another been started by or involved a large amount of christians. Needless to say that many settlements were forced to change to christianity and anyone that would not were killed.

95% is way off when you consider all the tribal wars in africa, all the rebellions in Asia, etc. Now, if you mean 95% of the wars in Europe, then I would agree. In fact, I would say that 100% of those were caused or heavily participated in by "christian" religious organizations.
The crusades as far as I remember were equally participated in by both "christians" and muslims and Jews too.

Christianity is not a peaceful religion, want to see a peaceful religion, read about buddhaism, but dont try to say that our seemingly peaceful (not in reality) world is due to christians, needless to say that christianity is not the most practiced religion in the world. Or that technological progress is due to the church... linguistical progress, schools and press are direct outcomes of middle age church, hopkins paradox is due to almost the opposite...


Specify the christian religions you are talking about, if you were talking about "true" christianity or those christian religions today who do not adhere to what the bible truly teaches, which is really who this thread is focused on anyway, isn't it? So maybe that's why you said it, but to be safe let's say constantinian christians or something else like that to differentiate. (yes I know that the vast majority of christians are constantinian, but as we've already discussed I am not constantinian but I am christian.)
Budhists themselves are not all non-violent. There are many different factions of budhism. Even the monks got involved in the 70s by setting themselves on fire (particularly violent, though only against ones self). There are 100s of millions of budhists, and like the constantinian christians they do not all adhere strictly to all the mantras of their religion.
Obviously, there are groups/sects within the Muslim religious community that are not non-violent.
BTW, what is the Hopkins Paradox?

(cwes) as to your earlier comments, i dont beleive that christians had an army by like 3-400 ad, however there was concern for a revolt, but all Constantine had to do is law the christians back in. Oh if i am not mistaken, roman army still remained pagan for a while after constantine started his conversion... i may be wrong, but dont quite have the time to double check that...

I did not mean that the christians had an army, but I did mean that their numbers continued to grow unbounded despite the seriously bad treatment they were receiving. That is why Constantine lawed the christians back in (removed their outlaw status.) By accepting them, or rather building them up with pagan worship, he no only fixed his problem of a growing outlaw nation within his own empire, but he killed off the growth of true christianity, which according to the Bible is what Satan had been trying to accomplish for a very long time.
Compare what Constantine did to what Pharoah did around the time of the birth of Moses. Pharoah saw a great nation swelling within his own empire. He knew that given a short time more that the decendents of Jacob would outnumber his own people. Thus he attempted to have all the male children killed. Without men, their numbers would not be able to grow. The women would then have to marry Egyptians, and the Hebrews would cease to exist.
Constantine hoped that by introducing the Pagan aspects to the Christian religion, he would be able to do likewise. The danger of the christian religion was that it was backed by the works of christ and his apostles. Take away that backing and they aren't so dangerous anymore.
The truth is though that the Christian religions were already widely dispersed. There were Christian congregations as far away as Brittain by the time of the first council. At the council of Nicaea (the first) apparently only 1 or 2 opposed the trinitarian belief, which was apparently the reason for the calling of the council. Apparently 1800 some bishops (not a christian position but one devised by government rule) were invited but only about 300 attended. Of those 300, only two sided with Arius, who believed that Christ and God were not equal, because Christ was a created being.
Would it be out of the realm of possibility that Constantine had the majority prevented from attending (as those invited were given permission to travel to the council, apparently they had to carry the invitation to be allowed to travel)? This would certainly sway the power to his side.
It does appear though that the division in the christian congregation was already there. This is of no surprise to Bible readers as the Bible itself said that a short time after the last of the apostles died there would be some who would come in to change the teachings of Christ.

#23 alexander

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 03:07 PM

i did have a typo in my previous post, i meant to say hawking's paradox, not hopkins... my friends were talking about hopkins so it stuck as i was typing.

Not necessarily trying to wage war, but constantly trying to get the upper hand on one another, and finally that leads to war if one can't find any other way to dominate the other.

and then there is the bush administration... don't you love their policy, the one that says that an unborn child's life is sacred, but once they are born, ****'em. (but that's off topic)

95% is way off when you consider all the tribal wars in africa

from 500 to now, there has been many wars in asia as well, such as mongol/chinese conflicts with genghis khan, chinese, japanese wars and so on and so forth, from 500 ad howerver, even in asia and africa there have been large conflicts with christians... i would say 98% in europe and australia, 75% in the americas like 50% in central eurasia and africa, and like 35% in asia...
christian groups: roman catholicism, eastern orthodoxy, protestants, lutherians, reformed presbyterians, charismatics, baptists, methodists, pentecostals, anabaptists, greek orthodoxy, perhaps more that i am forgetting, but i gotta run... :P

#24 pgrmdave

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 08:09 AM

Alex - back up your numbers. If you're going to make such specific numerical assessments, then have sources to back yourself up. I am not disputing your numbers directly, I just want to know that you came up with them with some kind of actual research, and didn't just guess an approximate number.

#25 cwes99_03

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 10:43 AM

As for my 100% in Europe, it was of course a guess, but highly educated based upon the distribution of religious groups in the European countries.

Up until the (14th?) century or so, Christianity hadn't spread much beyond the Urals. Islam largely ruled northern Africa (while subsaharan Africa was a mix of tribal religions), the Middle east, and the Turkish penninsula, and anything east of Iran was a mixture of eastern religions (Budhism, Hinduism, Taoism, etc.) Europe made up a small portion of the population even back then, but was almost 100% "christian".

#26 Freddy

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 07:44 PM

The accepted date of 40 Roman Catholic Missionaries arriving in Britain is 597CE. There was a missionary, Ninian, who reportedly began a Christian mission in Scotland in 350CE. On one website I found, it claimed that early Christians arrived in Britain during the first century CE. The evidence seemed shaky and there was no author cited.

#27 alexander

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 07:17 PM

well, dave, its more of a gues, not really speciffic, and you can most definitely add an "ish" after every number i posted there, ofcourse i did not have time to sit down and look at every conflict in the past 1500 years and figure out whether or not it involved christians... however there is backing for my thoughts and approximations, yeah i may be more off in some areas then others, and its mainly based on the distribution of chrisianity and early christian settlements as well as colonies.

lets start with europe, i didnt want to say 100% of all conflicts in europe had catholicism within its root, but there have been darn too many, infact reading my western civilization book, every conflict here seems to have roots tied to the church, especially thoroughout the middle ages, yes there are periods of history where christianity is not too involved, say napoleonic wars, but then there are others that belittle napoleonic wars, such as WWII(recent) and roman occupation of germanic territory (close to the oldest of conflicts involving christians and christianity), and i mean from there, look at the protestant reformation in england and the fight of lutherians in prussia, that not even metnioning every non christian settlement in europe that was converted to christianity by force...

Australia, the only conflicts i have read about there were after its settlement by england, and fights with locals, prizoners, the church was not involved per say, but they all involved christians for sure...

The Americas... again rough estimate, but look at the spanish and portugese invasion in the south and big plantation owners there, and what happened to indians(native american people), then french invasions in the north, french-american war, american mexican war, and russian expansion in the americas in the early american settlement time... perhaps 75 is a bit high, i wont argue, but a signifficant percentage nontheless...

Central Eurasia, Mongols vs Rus, and read about british afghan wars, and all the conflict that russia has had with muslims in the past who know how long, needless to mention alexandrian invasions and ****... 50 could actually be a bit low

asia, british occupying asian territory for colonies, Russo - Japanese and so on conflicts, and then things like US fighting in Japan and Vietnam. i called about 50% there, just seems somewhere in the ball park.

oops i just saw an error in my own estimates, i meant 50 in asia and 35 in africa. africa had a lot of tribal violence, and violence agains muslims, french however were occupying the south and afrikaans, british, the nile valleys, and then napoleon fighting in egypt, and WWII, i would bet somewhere in the 20s to 40s..

its all speculation really dave mainly due to the fact that i cant actually spend that kind of time sitting and referencing such material...