History

Now, don't take this wrong.  I believe we are created beings.  I believe there is a creator, and it is still possible to connect with Him, Her, It...uh, something....HOWEVER- I refuse to put my God in a box, to limit my God by human rules.

I study ancient history.  Especially as it relates to religious things.  I certainly don't know all there is to know out there, but I know a lot, because this is my favorite subject.  It fascinates me on about every level. 

And most religious people don't know a damn thing about history.  Not their own cult's history, let alone any other cult's history.  (And yes, they are ALL cults.  This is the FIRST definition of CULT:  followers of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices...!)  So, I must say, I find it amusing to talk to many of them and ask them questions about history.  Or just mention a historical event that affects Christianity...

Now honestly, I don't randomly do that to the "unsuspecting" Christian.  The one who is not judgeing me, criticizing me, etc.  It just hurts them.  You have to "lead" them into that conversation, and they have to want to talk about it. 

No, I'm talking about the egotistical "Holier than thous" who tell me that I am blasphemous.  Their own Jesus was called blasphemous.  Interesting...I'm good with being in his category.  So, when they tell me that I'm blashpemous, I remind them that Jesus was called a heretic, and I ask them what they know about Nicae, and Constantine.  That's the first easy place to go, because they either know nothing, or they say that Constantine had a "conversion". 

Soooo, if Constantine was such a convert, why did he include as many of the pagan traditions as possible in his NEW religion (NOT Christianity!  A totally NEW religion!)? 

Why did Constantine need a council called of all the religious leaders of the time (pagans, Jews, Christians, all of 'em) to determine if Jesus was God or not?  If he was a true convert, wouldn't the "truth" of Jesus' divinity have been in his heart?  Couldn't he have "taken it on faith"? (Isn't that what we are supposed to do with all our unanswered questions?) 

Why would a pagan leader need to be included in that discussion anyway? 

So then, my favorite place to go is-- Do you know what "CATHOLIC" means?  It's not just the name of a religion.  It's a word, and it means UNIVERSAL.  SOOO, the 'original' church...the one most of the current ones have derived from, is the UNIVERSAL church.  The definition of universal is: a proposition that asserts something of all members of a class.  Universal, as in a blend?  A mix- of all members of a class?  Interesting, isn't it?

This usually gets some upset going!! 

And this is how I have fun with religious fanatics!!  But, I promise, I only do it to the ones that are truly fanatics, and trying to shove it down my throat to begin with!!

1froggirl 1froggirl
36-40, F
5 Responses Feb 22, 2009

I'm impressed with the four comments since I've never studied the history of religion. I never had any information to support how I felt or feel about my reluctance to take any one religion as the total truth as to God, our creator. I've gone to a number of religious organizations and spent time in the Catholic church various Christian organizations, Baptist, Protestant, etc. , tried Buddhism for a time, been to all forms of Juddaism, Reform, Orthodox, Conservative, spent a lot of time studying metaphysics, am extremely interested in quantum physics and string theory since I've been involved in a lot of spiritual organizations for healing and evolving so, I go by my experiences I see value in most religions. I feel they all seem to have a piece of the truth. For me God is one and we are all a part of God. . It's good to know the history of religion if one is interested in debating with fanatics or in general as a study, however, I've been so involved with healing and evolving and have had the most amazing experiences from a lot of quantum healing modalities which go into dimention work. .<br />
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My own life changes are my only rebuttal, but I don't even try to argue with fanatics. I avoid them and don't discuss any of this with them since they'd say it's the devil for sure and I value my experiences as I value life and don't want to be attacked. So let them have their crazy , to me, beliefs and I discuss mine with people who are open to it. It is good to read the statements discussed . Thank you both for writing these. velvetflow

Yes, I will do some research on this, and I would be interested in anything else you have on the subject. I like to learn!

Nope, Catholic Church was instituted by Christ.<br />
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It might help you to read St Ignatius of Antioch - he deals with some of this stuff. If you want me to dig out some other pertinent primary sources and links let me know and I'll see what I can do.<br />
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Glad to talk to you.<br />
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Pax :D

Nice to share with someone else interested in this subject!<br />
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I am aware of most of the things you have mentioned. I was pointing out that most CHRISTIANS are unaware of these things, and I ask THEM these questions.<br />
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Yes, the blending of the current (then) religions was very effective in furthering Constantine's empire. The current (now) Christians who know nothing about this and insist that their religious practices have nothing pagan in them whatsoever are my targets for this topic.<br />
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I am also aware of the bishop Arius, and some of his beliefs. Some religions today claim their roots in his teachings. (Jehovah's Witnesses)<br />
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I am perplexed by your statement regarding Peter as the first pope, etc...I have never heard/read this...Where do you come by this information? The Catholic Church was formed by Constantine and the Council of Nicaea. And that was certainly not in Christ's time, so I am very curious to hear what you have to say about this.<br />
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I see that you have quite an impressive display of degrees: <br />
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*Be gentle with me; I'm just a Midwestern housewife fascinated by these topics, not a degreed (if that's a word) "scholar"....LOL

Dear 1froggirl,<br />
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I'm surprised your history books haven't told you the answer to these questions. I think one of the things you're missing about Christianity is that it was primarily the Catholic Church. The first pope was Peter and the first bishops were the apostles. It was only in the 16th Century onwards that lots of other denominations exploded with Protestantism (although there have obviously been break-offs before then). It is important for any student of history to understand the Catholic Church's teaching, as the Christians of the time were primarily Catholics. This may be the gap in your analysis and why glaring errors are perceived.<br />
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Dealing with your questions in turn:<br />
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1. Constantine is widely reported to have had a conversion (although he put off baptism till his death - a common practice of the time), but he was also a Roman leader and understood the political benefit of the Church. The pagan elements were not innovations but assimilations accepted to further the growth of the Church. e.g. fixing important liturgical feasts around pagan feasts - this is called inculturation - it was intended to make the faith more acceptible and the transition from paganism to Christianity smoother. It was an effective strategy.<br />
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2. This is related to the Arian heresy. The Catholic Church had a bishop called Arius and lots and lots of his followers - other bishops, who said that Christ was not a God-Man. The faithful didn't know what to believe. It was necessary for the claimed infallibility of the Church to be exercised by the collegial act of the bishops to decide the question once and for all. These occurred at the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople - St Athanasius being a major pla<x>yer. They more clearly defined what the Catholic Teaching was and declared any contrary view to be heresy. This was a power of the Church, not the state, hence that is why the councils were called as it was causing such a disturbance in the Church. Although there were political ramifications, the power was truly in the bishops alone. Many bishops however also had temporal power in certain regions for reasons of administration.<br />
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3. In terms of your translation of Catholic - you're correct. It's to do with the expansion of the covenants of the OT.<br />
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Hope this helps<br />
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Pax