The Nicean Council Please choose from the following: The Trinitarian Origin and Decree created by the Nicean Council Commentary on the Heretical Implications caused by the Council The Council of Nicea "THE DECREE OF HERESY"
What exactly happened at thefamous Council of Nicea, when the Roman emperor convened some 250 quarrelingChristian bishops?
It was of greatimportance in Christian and even in world history," wrote historian W.H.C.Frend about the first Council of Nicea. In Christian history, the doctrineof Christ's divinity (a doctrine essential and unique to Christianity)was formally affirmed for the first time. In world history, never beforehad the entire church gathered to determine policy and doctrine (let aloneat the bidding of the Roman emperor).The follow article, written by thelate writer and biographer Robert Payne (d. 1983), is excerpted and adaptedfrom his "TheHoly Fire: The Story of the Early Centuries of the Christian Churches inthe Near East" (1957). Forty years of scholarship later, one can rightfully quibble about some historical details (clarifications and some updated findings are in brackets). But no other narrative conveys as well the human dimension of this critical event.
Alexander of Alexandria had called a meeting ofthe presbyters [priests]. According to the historian Socrates, the aging"pope" [some early senior bishops were called "papa," that is, "father"]"with perhaps too philosophical minuteness" began to lecture on the theologicalmystery of the Holy Trinity. Alexander had been discussing the Father,the Son, and the Holy Ghost for some time when he was interrupted by oneof the presbyters called Arius, a native of Libya. There is no evidencethat Alexander was a profound theologian. He may have bumbled, and it ispossible that Arius was justified in accusing Alexander of Sabellianism,a heresy that involved a belief in the unity of God at the expense of thereality of the Trinity. But in combating Alexander, Arius fell into a newheresy, for he announced, "If the Father begat the Son, then he who wasbegotten had a beginning in existence, and from this it follows there wasa time when the Son was not". Here, at some time in 319, the cry of theArians--"There was a time when the Son was not"--was first heard. The wordswere to have an extraordinary influence on the shaping of the church. Theywere dynamite and split the church in two, and these words, which readin Greek like a line of a song, still echo down the centuries.
Alexander was appalled by the new heresy andknew that desperate measures would be necessary to combat it. Once it isadmitted that "there was a time when the Son was not," then a bewilderingseries of further heresies follows. High as he is, the Son is now infinitelylower than the Father. The words are like a wedge, splitting the monotheismof the church. Athanasius [Alexander's chief deacon assistant] saw thedanger clearly, and he seems to have taken over from Alexander the taskof refuting Arius. To the credit of Athanasius, he saw clearly that themost dangerous of existing heresies was precisely the heresy announcedby Arius. It was a very simple heresy. All Arius said was that if the Fatherbegat the Son, then the Son must have had a birth, and therefore therewas a time when the Son of God did not exist. He had come into existenceaccording to the will of the Heavenly Father, and therefore he was lessthan the heavenly Father, though greater than man. Christ was no more thana mediator between man and God. No, answered Alexander and Athanasius;Christ is absolute God. In our own heretical age, the dispute between Athanasiusand Arius may appear to be a splitting of hairs, but it was not so at thetime. The historian Gibbon was amused by the thought that Christianityalmost foundered on the controversy between homoousios and homoiousios,the fate of humankind hanging on a single iota. But the difference betweenChrist the mediator and Christ the God is a very real one, and whetherChrist is of the same substance [homo-ousios] or a like substance[homoi-ousios] to God the Father is a matter of importance to allChristians, not only theologians. Arianism brought Christ down to earth,making him at once inferior to the Father, and more popular. FollowingArius, a person could believe that Christ was no more than a great, virtuous,and superbly godlike hero. Against this conception, Alexander and Athanasiusrebelled, and they seem to have been perfectly aware that the heresy hadthe power to destroy the church as they knew it.
Alexander seems to have behaved with patience;there were long private interviews with Arius; special prayers were offeredagainst the emerging heresy. The clergy of Alexandria were assembled todiscuss the matter, and most of them signed an urgent letter to Arius,begging him to acknowledge his heresy. Arius refused. Alexander had noalternative but to summon a synod of the bishops of Egypt and Libya anddepose Arius and his followers. Thereupon Alexander issued an encyclical,stating tersely that the quarrel had gone beyond his powers of healing,and the views of Arius were anathema. The heresy, which was to grow intoan immense poisonous flower, was still only a bud, and not all its implicationswere visible at first. In his encyclical, Alexander explains some of theconsequences of the heresy: "The novelties the Arians have put forwardcontrary to the Scriptures are these: God was not always a Father . . .the Word of God was not always . . . [for] there was a time when he wasnot . . . neither is he like in essence to the Father; neither is he thetrue and natural Word of the Father; neither is he his true wisdom. . .. And the Father cannot be described by the Son, for the Word does notknow the Father perfectly and accurately. "Alexander's letter, which showssigns of having been partly written by Athanasius, is a masterly summaryof the heresy in its beginnings, but it suffered from one obvious fault.It was close-knit and logical. The people wanted something they could sing,and this Arius provided in abundance. "There was a time when the Son wasnot" became a catch phrase. There were many other catch phrases, hymnsand songs, "to be sung at table and by sailors, millers, and travelers."The people took up the cause of Arius, who withdrew to Palestine and laterto Nicomedia, where he was protected by the bishop. Here in a corner ofAsia Minor not far from Byzantium, Arius continued to taunt the pope ofAlexandria, secure in the knowledge that the people were with him. Ariuspossessed other advantages. Eusebius, the bishop of Nicomedia, had friendsat court and was particularly close to Constantia, the sister of EmperorConstantine. Already the evil that had begun in the church of Alexandriawas running through all Egypt, Libya, Upper Thebes, Palestine, and AsiaMinor.
THEEMPEROR STEPS IN
Inevitably it came to the ears of the emperor,who discussed with Hosius, the saintly bishop of Cordova, what should bedone to put an end to the quarrels among the sects. Like James I of England,Constantine regarded unity as "the mother of order," and he was not overmuchconcerned with the theological truths at stake: he decided to send Hosiusto Nicomedia and Alexandria with a letter written in his own hand, orderingby imperial rescript an end to the quarrel. The letter--one of the mostastonishing letters ever written by an emperor to priests--has come downto us in a version that shows no signs of being edited. It is hot-tempered,querulous, disjointed, and commanding. It is abundantly clear that theemperor is not quite clear in his own mind what the quarrel is about. Heobserves that "these questions are the idle cobwebs of contention, spunby curious wits," and he asks, "Who is capable of distinguishing such deepand hidden mysteries?" He recognizes that the contestants are well-armedwith arguments, but he can make neither head nor tail of them. The heathenphilosophers did better: they quietly agreed to disagree. But these newphilosophers are implacable and determined enemies of his peace. Let themmake profession of their ignorance of God's ultimate purposes. It was preciselythis profession that Arius and Athanasius were unable to make. Almost indespair, Constantine concludes his letter: "Seeing that our great and graciousGod, the preserver of all, has given us the common light of his grace,I entreat you that my endeavors may be brought to a prosperous end, andmy people be persuaded to embrace peace and concord. Suffer me to spendmy days and nights in quiet, and may I have light and cheerfulness insteadof tears and groans. "If Constantine had seriously hoped to put an endto the quarrel, he had acted too late. The quarrel was blazing furiously."In every city," wrote a historian, "bishop was contending against bishop,and the people were contending against one another, like swarms of gnatsfighting in the air. "Another historian outlined the danger even more acidly:"In former times, the church was attacked by enemies and strangers fromwithout. Today those who are natives of the same country, who dwell underone roof and sit down at table together, fight with their tongues as ifwith spears. "When Hosius returned from his missions in Nicomedia and Alexandria,he was a defeated man and could only report that he could see no end insight to the blaze that had begun when an aging pope addressed his presbyterson the subject of the Holy Trinity. There had been bloodshed in the streets;Alexandria and Nicomedia were exchanging defiant taunts. Constantine decidedto throw all his influence into the battle.
He decided to call a general council, the firstof that long series of church councils that ended with the Council of Trent(1545-1563). He chose as the seat of the council the small city of Niceain Bithynia, a few miles from Nicomedia. By Constantine's orders, 1,800bishops were invited to attend the council. Messengers were sent to allparts of the empire with invitations. Each bishop was allowed to bringtwo presbyters and three slaves in his retinue; the services of the publicpost stations were offered free; from all corners of the empire the bishopsdescended upon Nicea, crowding the public roads. It was not a good timefor traveling. The eastern rivers were flooded with the rains of a latespring, and though the empire, stretching from Britain to the borders ofPersia, was nominally at peace, there were marauding soldiers and banditsalong the roads. Fewer than 400 bishops answered the imperial summons,but their numbers were swelled by a horde of attendant presbyters, deacons,subdeacons, and laymen. Most of the ecclesiastics came from the East, forEurope and North Africa had not yet been corrupted by the schism. Six bishopsand two presbyters represented the West. They were Hosius of Cordova, Caecilianof Carthage, Nicasius of Dijon, Domnus of Strido in Pannonia, Eustorgiusof Milan, and Marcus of Calabria. The two Roman presbyters Victor and Vincentiusrepresented the old and dying Sylvester, bishop of Rome. From the Eastcame bishops who had suffered persecution. There was Paul, bishop of MesopotamianCaesarea, with his hands scorched by flames. Paphnutius of Upper Egypt,famous for the austerity of his life, had had his right eye dug out andthe sinews of his left leg were cut during the Diocletian persecution.Bishop Potammon of Heraclea, who had known Antony and lived in the desertsof the Nile, had also lost an eye. There was James, bishop of Nisibis,who wore a coat of camel's hair, and from the island of Cyprus came BishopSpyridion, a saintly shepherd who refused to give up tending sheep evenwhen he was elevated to the episcopate, a man who performed miracles tothe delight of the Cypriots and to their further delight thundered againstvirginity, saying that it was right and proper that married people shouldenjoy themselves in bed. Then there was John, bishop of Persia, from landsoutside the empire, and from the unknown north came Theophilus the Goth,a flaxen-haired Scythian from somewhere in Russia. This motley crowd ofbishops represented varying traditions of Christianity. There were sharp-featuredintellectuals, men of abstruse book learning, capable of splitting hairsby the yard. There were wise old hermits who had spent the previous yearclothed in rough goat hair cloaks, living on roots and leaves. There weremen so saintly that it was almost expected of them that they would performmiracles during the council. There were cantankerous men, and men riddledwith heresies, and men who rode to Nicea in hope of preferment from thehands of the emperor. There were men who came peacefully, intending onlyto observe and then report to their flock, and there were other men determinedto wage war in the council chamber. Yet in the last instance, none of thesebishops except Hosius of Cordova was to have any great and final effectupon the outcome of the conference.
Although five separate accounts of the councilhave been handed down from eyewitnesses, and there are eight more accountswritten by historians of the generation immediately following Nicea, wedo not know exactly where the council took place, whether it was in a buildingspecially erected for the purpose or whether it was in one of the imperialpalaces. Tradition points to a site on the edge of the lake, a vast marblehall enclosed with columns, and perhaps open to the sunlight. In the centerof the hall was a throne on which a copy of the Gospels was placed, andat the far end was another throne for the emperor, carved in wood, richlygilt and set above the level of the unpainted thrones of the bishops. Inthis hall, early in the morning of Ascension Sunday, while a mist was floatingon the lake, the bishops awaited the arrival of the emperor. Few of thebishops had set eyes upon this emperor, who had single-handedly weldedthe East and West into a single empire and shown himself so devout a Christian.They waited expectantly. At last they heard the tramp of armed guards,and then some high officers of the court, themselves converted to Christianity,entered the hall to announce that the emperor was on his way. The bishopswere standing. Soon an avant-courier was seen raising a torch, the signalthat the emperor was about to enter, and then like children, these bishopsfrom Syria and Cilicia, Arabia, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Mesopotamia, Persia,Scythia, and Europe were hushed. Human majesty in the person of ConstantiniusVictor Augustus Maximus was about to appear before their eyes, and in thehistory of the world only Octavian, who had ruled the Roman Empire duringthe life of Christ, had ever reigned over so vast an empire. Constantinewore high-heeled scarlet buskins, a purple silk robe blazing with jewelsand gold embroidery, and there were more jewels embedded in his diadem.He was then 51 but looked younger, enormously tall and vigorous, with ahigh color and a strange glitter in his fierce, lion-like eyes. He worehis hair long, but his beard was trimmed short. He had a thick heavy neck,and a curious way of holding his head back, so that it seemed not to bewell set on the powerful shoulders, and there was about all his movementsa remarkable casualness, so that when he strode, he gave the impressionof someone dancing.
Having marched slowly across the whole lengthof the hall, Constantine sat in silence for a while, sitting between PopeAlexander of Alexandria and his closest ecclesiastical adviser, BishopHosius of Cordova. All eyes were fixed on him. Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea[or, more likely, Eustathius of Antioch] read a speech of welcome in metricalprose and then chanted a hymn of thanksgiving for the emperor's victories;then once again there was silence until Constantine collected himself,and speaking in Latin, which was still the language of the court, in avoice that seemed strangely soft and gentle for a man so commanding, hebade the bishops remember that it was the power of God that had dethronedthe tyrants, and worse than any battlefield was a civil war between factionsof the church. "It is my desire," he said, "that you should meet togetherin a general council, and so I offer to the King of All my gratitude forthis mercy that has come to me above my other mercies--I mean that therehas been granted to me the benefit of seeing you assembled together andto know you are resolved to be in common harmony together. "All this wasflattery, for the very purpose of the convocation was to resolve a bitterconflict, and Constantine knew well enough from the petitions he had alreadyreceived from the bishops that bitterness remained. He continued, "WhenI gained my victories over my enemies, I thought nothing remained for mebut to give thanks unto God and to rejoice with those who have been deliveredby me. But when I learned, contrary to all expectations, that there weredivisions among you, then I solemnly considered them, and praying thatthese discords might also be healed with my assistance, I summoned youhere without delay. I rejoice to see you here, yet I should be more pleasedto see unity and affection among you. I entreat you, therefore, belovedministers of God, to remove the causes of dissension among you and to establishpeace. "There was now no mistaking the threat behind the words, and asthough to make his threat more clear, the emperor summoned one of his attendantsand silently produced the parchment rolls and letters containing complaintsand petitions that the bishops had privately sent him. A brazier was setup. The emperor tossed the petitions into the flames. While they were stillburning, he explained that all these petitions would appear again on theday of judgment, and then the great Judge of all things would pass judgmenton them: for himself he was content to listen to the public deliberationsof the bishops and had not even read these bitter messages sent to him.
VICIOUSDEBATES IN SONG
The conference was now open. At once the Ariansand the anti-Arians were at one another's throats. Denunciation and angryaccusation flew across the hall. Everyone was suddenly arguing. There wasa wild waving of arms. "It was like a battle in the dark," the historianSocrates said later. "Hardly anyone seemed to know the grounds on whichthey calumniated one another. "Constantine had invited Arius to be presentand listened earnestly when Arius explained the nature of his beliefs,and he was not particularly surprised when Arius burst out into a long,sustained chant, having set his beliefs to music. These chants and songswere sung by the people, and Arius may have thought the emperor would listenmore keenly to chanting than to a disquisition on the faith:
Theuncreated God has made the Son A beginning of things created, And by adoptionhas God made the Son Into an advancement of himself. Yet the Son's substanceis Removed from the substance of the Father: The Son is not equal to theFather, Nor does he share the same substance. God is the all-wise Father,And the Son is the teacher of his mysteries. The members of the Holy TrinityShare unequal glories.
The anti-Arian bishops were appalled, closed theireyes, and put their hands over their ears. It was as though in the middleof a critical debate on the future of the world, someone interrupted withnonsense rhymes or a series of perplexing and meaningless mathematicalequations. Yet the heart of the Arian mystery was in these rhymes sungto a music employed by the Alexandrian dance bands. Arius, gaunt, white-faced,his stringy hair reaching to his shoulders, could repulse any theologicalargument by simply chanting one of these songs, and when Athanasius [orlikely another] answered with a close-knit argument, there was consternation,for they seemed to be talking in different languages about different things,like two men from different worlds or different universes.
ASTAB AT COMPROMISE
Probably Athanasius was standing just behindPope Alexander, and therefore very close to the emperor. We know that heattracted the emperor's attention, but it was not Athanasius who resolvedthe issue. It seems to have been Hosius who announced that the simplestway of reaching agreement would be to draw up a creed. The first creedpresented to the council was written by 18 of the Arian bishops. Couchedin scriptural language, this creed stated the Arian position so offensivelythat bedlam broke loose when it was solemnly presented to the attentionof the bishops. At this point, Eusebius of Caesarea suggested a creed thathe had first heard as a child, an astonishingly beautiful creed that wasto form the basis of the creed finally adopted. Eusebius was careful tosay he advanced this creed only because he believed divine things cannotbe fully expressed in human language: it was not perfect, but it was asclose to perfection as he ever hoped to reach. This creed read:
Webelieve in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible andinvisible, And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, God from God,Light from Light, Life from Life, the only begotten Son, the Firstbornof every Creature, begotten of the Father before all worlds, through whomalso all things were made. Who for our salvation was made flesh and livedamong men, and suffered and rose again on the third day, and ascended tothe Father, and shall come again in glory to judge the quick and the dead.And in the one Holy Ghost. Believing each of them to be and to have existed,the Father, only the Father, and the Son, only the Son, and the Holy Ghost,only the Holy Ghost . . . .
This creed the emperor accepted, and the Arians,seeing in it nothing that specifically destroyed their position, wouldhave accepted it if their opponents had not seen that this creed failedin any way to resolve the conflict. It was necessary to state the creedin such a way that the Arians would be forced to deny their essential tenets.Pope Alexander discussed the matter with Hosius. Constantine, turning againstthe Arians he had previously favored, suggested that Christ should be definedas homoousios--one in essence with the Father--and this definitionshould be included in the creed. The orthodox bishops were gaining strength.A new creed, formed by patching together the old creed and a new, morevigorous statement of the anti-Arian position, was finally announced byHosius on June 19. It read:
Webelieve in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible andinvisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of theFather, only begotten, that is, from the substance of the Father, God fromGod, Light from Light, very God from very God, begotten not made, of thesame substance as the Father, through whom all things were made, both thingsin Heaven and things in earth; who for us men, and for our salvation, camedown and was made flesh, was made man, suffered and rose again the thirdday, ascended into Heaven, and shall come to judge the quick and the dead.And in the Holy Ghost. And those who say "There was a time when he wasnot" and "He did not exist before he was made" and "He was made out ofnothing" or those who pretend that the Son of God is "of another hypostasisor substance" or "created" or "alterable" or "mutable," the Catholic Churchanathematizes.
In this form, the Nicene Creed left much to bedesired. It was tortured, blunt-edged, without poetry or rhythm, and withoutthe nobility of the creed of the church of Palestine. But many words thatgave a living significance to the original creed--"the Word of God," "theFirstborn of every creature," "begotten of the Father before all worlds"--werein fact deliberately omitted to show that the triumphant Alexandrians wouldallow no compromise, no loophole for the Arians and were bent on avoidingall misunderstanding.
In its original form, the Nicene Creed wasa weapon: it was to become a more sublime article of faith in time, whenpoetry and ornament and a less abrupt rhythm were fashioned for it by thesimple process of adding words. These words, which gave depth and resonanceto the Creed, were added at the Council of Constantinople in 381, and finallyapproved at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Then the second clause cameto read:
Andin one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of theFather before all worlds, Light from Light, very God from very God, begottennot made, being of one substance with the Father, through whom all thingswere made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from the heavensand was made flesh of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, and was mademan, and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and wasburied, and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, andwent up into the heavens, and sits on the right hand of the Father, andis to come again with glory to judge the quick and the dead, and of hiskingdom there shall be no end.
So there came about by the slow process of trialand error, as a poet will substitute a new word to a line or resurrecta word used formerly, continually revising his rhythms, an astonishinglybeautiful summary of the Christian faith, such a summary as might havecome full-grown from the mind of one of the apostles. But in fact thisstatement of faith came about arduously and slowly, after many bitter contestsand many subtle dialectical quarrels, and in the version accepted by theWest, there were to be more changes. The words "God from God," omittedin the original creed of the church of Constantinople, were restored, andthere were still more alterations in the coda, for in time the anathemasagainst Arianism lost their force. No one reading the Western version ofthe Nicene Creed today need remember that it was originally a hammer struckat heresy.But the heresy remained. All Athanasius's diatribes, and allthe decisions of the council, were powerless to prevent it. Later Athanasiuswas to write to the Emperor Jovian, saying that Nicea was the occasionfor a public proscription of every heresy. For a while he believed that"the Word of the Lord, which was given at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea,remains for ever." He had good reason to believe that he had won a resoundingsuccess. Constantine had been won over. Arius was publicly anathematized.According to the historian Socrates, Constantine issued an imperial rescriptordering that all the books of Arius should be burned "so that his depraveddoctrine shall be entirely suppressed and so that there shall be no memorialof him left in the world. "The punishment for concealing any book compiledby Arius was death!Yet some 54 years later, when Gregory Nazianzus wassummoned to Constantinople, he found only one small congregation in thecity that had not become Arian. In the end, Arianism was to die, and largelyas the result of Athanasius's enduring statement of the orthodox doctrine.But in spite of the anathemas, it was still a living force in the land.
The council came to an end on July 25 witha solemn banquet attended by the emperor. They had deliberated for nearlyseven weeks, not only about the Arian heresy. An Arabic translation ofthe canons discussed at Nicea, found in the sixteenth century, shows thatthey debated on 84 subjects, ranging from the date of Easter (they setthe day as the first Sunday, not coinciding with the Passover, after thefirst full moon following the vernal equinox) to determining whether theclergy could marry (the clergy were enjoined to marry before ordination,but not afterward).Now exhausted, the bishops prepared to make their wayhomeward. The last speeches had been made. There remained only the ceremonialleave-taking at the banquet, with the emperor sitting at a table in themidst of them. Constantine, stiff with purple, gold, and precious stones,was in good humor. He complimented Athanasius, gave presents to the bishopshe favored, and at one point he summoned the unregenerate Bishop Acesius,who possessed a singular regard for the Novatian heresy, which held thatonly God had the power to pardon sins and that anyone who commits sin afterbaptism must be permanently refused Communion. Constantine reminded Acesiusthat the doctrine of the church was now finally established. Acesius madea long speech in defense of his puritan interpretation of the Scriptures.Constantine guffawed, "Ho, ho, Acesius! Now plant a ladder and climb upto heaven by yourself!"And sometime later, Constantine summoned the saintlyBishop Paphnutius and kissed the empty socket, and pressed his legs andarms to the paralyzed limbs, and he was especially gentle to all the otherbishops who had suffered under the persecutions. Then the bishops wentout through a line of imperial bodyguards with bared swords.
The council was over Back to the Choices Back to the myths link page Commentary The division createdby the Council There were many heritical implications and doctrinal changesrooted from the Nicean Council. These implications have caused division amongthe church body and become the major forefront leading to what we now callDenominations.
When the Roman emperor Constantine saw the great religious divisionamong the different geograpical divisions of his empire he became concernedthat this might effect the stable condition of the current rule that Romehad on these areas. So out of concern for the Roman empire he put intomotion what is historically called the Council of Nicea. Lets get one thingclear. He was not concerned at getting to the truth according to the originalmanuscripts or what the original twelve Apostles had preached from thebeginning. On the contrary, Rome led the way in persecuting these One God,baptized in Jesus name, Holy Ghost filled Christians.
Many of these Christians were fed to the lions, torn apart by thelimbs using animals as pulling devices, and burned at the stake. This wasdone not only for persecution, but as entertainment to the Roman citizensand to show the stand the leadership of the Roman Empire took against theseChristians.
But what the Roman Empire didn't count on was the wildfire like growththis persecution seemed to be causing in the Christian Church. It seemedthe more the Christians were persecuted, the more the body of the ChristianChurch grew. And Rome could do nothing to stop this growth. So, Rome continuedto carry on with its persecution of the Christians in hopes of wiping themout. The years passed and the Christian body still grew in number. Thenthe separation began. During this time of persecution many divisions wereborn in the church by false prophets as was propecied by the Lord Jesus:
Mt:7:15: Beware of false prophets,which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Mt:24:11: And many false prophetsshall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mt:24:24: For there shall arise falseChrists, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuchthat, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
2Pt:2:1: But there were false prophetsalso among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you,who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord thatbought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
1Jn:4:1: Beloved, believe not everyspirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many falseprophets are gone out into the world.
The Roman Emperor Constantine saw these divisions as threateningto the civil harmony of the Empire and he knew he had to do something tostablize the situation and return Rome to the control it once had on itsentire civilization. Constantine was not concerned with truth, he was concernedwith peace and control. So, in his imperial wisdom, he implemented a meetingof the religious leaders of these divided areas which were currently underRoman law. The resulting declaration of that meeting would set into motionwhat is called the Trinitarian Doctrine.
In reading the historical part of this page we observe that the churchleaders had great difficulty coming to an agreed declaration which couldbe unitedly decreed. Many declarations were submitted and turned down forlack of total agreement on the part of the religious leaders. The finaldeclaration was settled and the religious leaders returned to their landswith a new decree to base their religious yet still divided doctrines upon.
Now, lets get one thing straight. Decreeing the Biblical Truth wasnot the intent of the Roman Empire. Peace and stability was the main objective.Control was the issue that had to be settled. Constantine didn't care thatthis new decree declared three separate Deities within the Godhead. Hedidn't care that the leaders would go home and implement this trinitariandecree upon their church bodies. He didn't care about the eternal impactthis would effect on the uncountable number of souls that followed thisdecree and newly formed doctrine. All he cared about was stability andcontrol over the Roman governed nations.
The Trinity is a false man-made doctrine which has led many faithfulfollowers to judgement. It is found nowhere in the original manuscripts.The doctrine the original Orthodox Church leaders implemented to the worldhas to date led many away from the truth of the original manuscripts concerningthe Oneness of God,the proper method of Baptism,and the indwelling of the HolySpirit. Click on these highlighted words to learn more about each.
This site is not here to bash any denomination. Denominations (orchurch separations) are all derived from separation from the original Orthodoxchurch body. The Apostolic body of the original church remained mostlysilent throughout the Midevil ages while the Orthodox churches continuedwith their doctrinal changes and divisions. Yet in recent times the ApostolicFaith Churches have shown a massive revival as prophecied in the Holy Scripturesconcerning the last days or (the end times).
This site is here to present the truth according to the written wordof God. The history of the Church is at everyones availability. You areobserving this current page on some type of browser which has the capabilityof browsing church historical libraries. Make sure you are reading accuratedocumentation and observe who or what body has written these documentations.For instance, you may be reading about the origins of Trinitarian Doctrinefrom a Catholic based web site which may implement Catholic Dogma on itsweb site. Check into other sites that are non-biased. Make sure that whatyou are reading is the truth. Lets take a look at what some of these churchleaders in these large denominations have already done. Its in the historybooks and headlines daily.
The links provided will give you scriptural backup concerning theGodhead, Baptism, the Deity of Christ, and the true sign of the indwellingof the Holy Spirit. Trust no man with your soul. Look it up for yourselfand make sure the doctrine you are studying is of the original manuscriptswritten by the Apostles and the letters written to the churches by theApostle Paul. Study the Greek and Hebrew translations. Please follow theother links on this site if you haven't already. There is plenty of scripturallyaccurate documentation for you to observe. Please don't just close outwithout knowing the truth. Your soul depends on it. Here is scripturalwarning about ignorance.
Hosea:4:6: My people are destroyedfor lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will alsoreject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgottenthe law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
2 Timothy:4:3: For the time willcome when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lustsshall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.
So it was written,so it has become. Links on Trinity Doctrine The Two Babylons - Ancient and Today - by the late Alexander Hislop
The Ancient Origins of Trinity Worship - by David J. Olson
Bibliography: Constantine the Great - by David J. Olson
The Office of the Pope - Edited by David J. Olson
More Trinity Studies - by Pastor G. Reckart
Back to the Choices Backto the Trinity link page