Calling Mr Constantine

Alexander’s letter to his namesake in Byzantium is a long and repetitive statement of the Arian problem. His Catholic Epistle is a more succinct setup for Nicea.

He tries to stop certain readings of the Christian books but his opponents are slippery - by saying these things, and by unfolding the divine Scriptures, we have often refuted them. But they, chameleon-like …. Their arguments still resonate with many. Alexander formally bans, anathematized such men, but that fails to stop other powerful bishops supporting them including Eusebius of Nicomedia.

The stage is set for the novelties of the Council. A precise definition of the orthodox position and its banned alternative to take out the fence sitters. Anathema again but now enforced Rome-wide to remove or neuter powerful bishops like Eusebius.

You can argue that the creed is valuable - God is made clear even if his books are ambiguous - but state-intervention? Slippery, slippery … To enforce the position of its majority, the Church needed Constantine. They made him a protagonist in their drama and he assumed the role offered. In spite of the Constantine-bashers, there was no machiavellian at Nicea. Just a majority-pleaser, a God-pleaser.

2 Responses to “Calling Mr Constantine”

  1. Larry Silverstein Says:

    WHAT THE AUTHOR OF GENESIS 1:1-2:3 AND HIS GOD BELIEVED!

    Since many Creationists, Fundamentalists, and I suppose Jews and Christians in general believe that they believe what the author of this 2,500 year old text believed (and by extension what the god of his text also believed!), I’ve decided to list his beliefs (and “God’s”) clearly and orderly. This follows from the textual analyses of Genesis 1:1-2:3 that were previously posted: Gen 1:1-2; Gen 1:3-5; Gen 1:6-8; Gen 1:9-10; Gen 1:14-19; Gen 1:24-27; and Gen 2:2-3. Consult them for specifics.
    As has been repeatedly voiced, our aim here is to reproduce as objectively and faithfully as possible the beliefs of the author of Genesis 1:1-2:3—not ours—as evidenced by an understanding and reading of the text on its own terms and as a product of its own historical and literary world. The author that penned the creation account now found at Genesis 1:1-2:3 had a very unique worldview and set of beliefs that, in large part, were shaped by, and shared throughout, the larger ancient Near Eastern world within which he lived. And these beliefs themselves were most likely formed as the result of what ancient peoples saw and perceived about their world and the conclusions they naturally drew from these limited empirical observations.
    Genesis 1 is an account of the origins of the world as its author perceived it. That is to say, his perception and beliefs about the world and its origins were projected onto the god of his text and in turn this god then created the world that he himself, our author, perceived and experienced. These then are his beliefs:
    1. That God created the earth (dry habitable land, never the planet) and the skies out of preexistent undefined and inhabitable earth that was immersed in a deep, dark watery abyss.
    2. That creation was an act of separating this primordial matter (earth and water) out, subduing it, and forming it into an habitable, life-bearing world.
    3. That the source of day’s light is an inherent and essential property of day itself; its source is not the sun.
    4. That God created day, as light or daylight.
    5. That night is the original primordial darkness.
    6. That God subdued the primordial untamed waters by creating a domed barrier in their midst which separated the waters, now above and below this barrier.
    7. That the sky is this solid transparent domed barrier.
    8. That the sky’s function, as God created it, is to keep back the waters above.
    9. That the sky is blue because of the waters above it.
    10. That the sky, this domed barrier holding the waters above, touched the waters below at the horizons.

    11. That God subdued the waters below and caused them to gather together into seas.
    12. That earth, specifically dry habitable life-supporting land—not the planet—emerged from the depths of these now tamed seas.

    13. That the land or earth was flat.
    14. That the land or earth “floated” upon or was supported by the waters below.
    15. That the earth brought forth all plants and vegetation, each by its own kind.
    16. That God created and placed the sun, moon, and all the stars together in the domed barrier that he had made earlier, above which were the waters above.
    17. That these luminaries were created to regulate and to distinguish between the day and the night, not to create day (daylight) and night.
    18. That these luminaries moved through this domed barrier.
    19. That the moon produces its own light.
    20. That the luminaries’ purpose, in part, was to indicate when the months began, and on what days Yahweh’s festivals (Sabbath, Passover, Unleavened Bread, Horn-Blast Holy Day, Day of Atonement, and Booths) fell and were to be observed.
    21. That the observance of these festivals or holy days were eternal laws punishable by death or excommunication.
    22. That the luminaries, particularly the moon, were created to serve as a calendar system, each new moon beginning a new month.
    23. That God created the living beings of the waters below, each by their kind.
    24. That God created the birds, each by their kind.
    25. That God created the animals of the earth, each by their kind.
    26. That in opposition to the animals, God created mankind, male and female, in his image.
    27. That there existed a plurality of divine beings or a divine counsel of some sort.
    28. That God created all of this in 6 days.
    29. That God created and consecrated the 7th day as holy.
    30. That God rested from his work on the 7th day and therefore man too must rest from his work on the 7th day, as reckoned from the new moon and then each 7th consecutive day afterward.
    31. That anyone caught doing work on the 7th day, that is not observing the Sabbath (our Saturday—but this is still inaccurate since we do not follow a lunar calendar), was to be stoned to death by commandment from God himself.
    32. That the Sabbath was an eternal covenant, to be observed forever, on penalty of death.
    These, then, are what the author of Genesis 1:1-2:3 believed—well actually just a small fraction of what he believed and perceived as “true,” as his experience of the world dictated.
    How many of these are seriously believed by our so-called modern day Creationists? 5? 10? 30%? How long are we as sentient beings going to put up with this dishonest and hypocritical practice? For by feigning belief in Genesis 1, they themselves are some of the most strident enemies of this ancient text and its author. I would expect more out of a species made in the image of God!
    by Dr. Steven DiMattei Copyrighted and posted on May 27, 2014

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