The History of Fundamental "Christian" Beliefs
The following is a brief biography of Constantine from Infopedia 2, (a 29-volume encyclopedia on CD). It explains how he became interested in the Christianity of his day:
"Constantine I. Called the Great. Full name Flavius Valerius Aurelius Conastanatianus \ykSn(t)-sten-'ti-nes\ . d. 337. Roman emperor (306-337). Eldest son of Constantius Chlorus; accompanied Diocletian in expedition to Egypt (296); proclaimed successor (caesar) by his father at York, Britain (306); at the time one of six claimants to throne of Roman Empire; caused death (310) of Maximian for conspiracy; became sole emperor in the West on defeating Maxentius in three battles, the last at the Milvian Bridge (312) at Rome; on this occasion legend states that a cross and the words in hoc signo vinces ("by this sign thou shalt conquer") appeared in the heavens; at that time (or earlier) adopted Christianity; issued with Licinius Edict of Milan (313) extending rights and toleration to Christians; devoted next nine years (314-323) to administration, strengthening of frontiers, and restraining barbarians; built Arch of Constantine (315) at Rome; attempted to suppress schisms in church, esp. that of Donatists. After defeating (324) and executing (325) Licinius, ruled as sole emperor; renamed Byzantium Constantinople (330). Called the great Council of Nicaea (325) at which Nicene Creed was adopted; banished Arius and attempted to suppress Arianism." Infopedia.
What the article does not explain is how he introduced Christmas to the Romans. After his vision of the cross, he contacted some Christian bishops to learn of the religion of the cross. He liked what the bishops told him and included Christ as part of his pantheon. He also attempted to convert the Empire to this new religion, Christianity. They adamantly refused. Why? They refused to give up their great festivals, particularly Saturnalia.
In order to convert the Empire to "Christianity," Constantine, with the help of the bishops, changed the name only of the feast of Saturnalia (from the pagan god Saturn) to Christmas, Christs Mass (whatever that means) because the Romans refused to give up their holiday with gift giving, family gatherings and dinners, and office orgies. Aside from erroneously claiming that late December was Christs birthday, Christmas largely remains Saturnalia with a new name, except that the bishops added to Saturnalia some emotional reference to Jesuss birth in the manger. Soon the Romans made idols, crèches, of the manger scene as befitting their pagan roots.
The Lourve has a statue of a little fat god with a large bushy beard and chubby cheeks. If someone would dress the statue in a red suit, it would look just like Santa Claus. The statue, however, was not Santa Claus but the god, Saturn. Christmas cannot be made into something other than its original intent, even with a new name and motifs.
About two years before he died, Constantine established Sunday as the day of worship because the sun was his favorite god. This was not difficult to understand because the Romans had a pantheon of gods in their religion. These gods often became saints in the liturgy. The pantheon, the temple dedicated to all the Roman gods, became the church called Santa Maria ad Martyres. Around the temple-church are statues from the Roman era with saints names.
Constantines Council of Nicaea established trinity, a concept of paganism for thousands of years, to Catholicism during its sessions. At the time, and one of the major reasons for the Council, was a dispute among three groups monotheists, dualists and trinitarians. Constantine believed that Jesus was a god, like all kings in pagan philosophy. He considered himself a demigod, who would eventually reside in the heavens after his death. Arians believed that there was one God, the Father. And most of the bishops believed there were three persons in one God, trinitarians.
Here is what Infopedia says:
"NICENE CREED, in Christian theology, confession of faith.
The first creed so named was adopted at the first Council of Nicaea in ad 325 to settle a controversy concerning the persons of the Trinity. It was intended to cover debated questions as to the divinity of Christ, and it introduced the word homoousios (Gr., "of the same substance") to correct the error of the homoiousian ("of like substance") party. To it were added several clauses against Arianism (q.v.)"
Infopedia says this about Arianism:
"ARIANISM, a Christian heresy of the 4th century that denied the full divinity of Jesus Christ. It was named for its author, Arius (256-336). A native of Libya, Arius studied at the theological school of Lucian of Antioch (d. 312), where other supporters of the Arian heresy were also trained. After he was ordained a priest in Alexandria, Arius became involved (319) in a controversy with his bishop concerning the divinity of Christ. Arius was finally exiled (325) to Illyria because of his beliefs, but debate over his doctrine soon engulfed the whole church and agitated it for more than half a century. Although his doctrine was eventually outlawed (379) throughout the Roman Empire by Emperor Theodosius I, it survived for two centuries longer among the barbarian tribes that had been converted to Christianity by Arian bishops.
"Arius taught that God is unbegotten and without beginning. The Son, the Second Person of the Trinity (q.v.), therefore, because he is begotten, cannot be God in the same sense that the Father is. The Son was not generated from the divine substance of the Father; he did not exist from all eternity, but was created out of nothing like all other creatures, and exists by the will of the Father. In other words, the relationship of the Son to the Father is not natural, but adoptive.
"The teaching of Arius was condemned in 325 at the first ecumenical council at Nicaea ( see Nicaea, Councils of ). The 318 bishops assembled there drafted a creed which stated that the Son of God was "begotten not made," and consubstantial (Gr. homoousios, "of the same substance") with the Father; that is, the Son was part of the Trinity, not of creation ( see Nicene Creed). Previously, no creed had been universally accepted by all churches. The status of the new creed as dogma was confirmed by bans against the teaching of Arius.
"Despite its condemnation, the teaching of Arius did not die. In part this was due to the interference of imperial politics. Under the influence of the Greek church historian Eusebius of Caesarea, whose orthodoxy had also been questioned, Emperor Constantine I recalled Arius from exile about 334. Soon after, two influential people came to the support of Arianism: The next emperor, Constantius II, was attracted to the Arian doctrine; the bishop and theologian Eusebuis of Nicomedia, later patriarch of Constantinople, become an Arian leader.
"By 359 Arianism had prevailed and was the official faith of the empire. Quarreling among themselves, however, the Arians divided into two parties. The semi-Arians consisted mostly of conservative eastern bishops, who basically agreed with the Nicene Creed but were hesitant about the unscriptural term homoousios (consubstantial) used in the creed. The neo-Arians said that the Son was of a different essence (Gr. heteroousios ) from, or unlike (Gr. anomoios ), the Father. This group also included the Pneumatomachi (combatants against the Spirit), who said that the Holy Spirit (q.v.) is a creature like the Son. With the death of Constantius II in 361, and the reign of Valens, who persecuted the semi-Arians, the way was opened for the final victory of Nicene orthodoxy, recognized by Emperor Theodosius in 379 and reaffirmed at the at the second ecumenical council (Constantinople I) held in 381."
Arius was close to the Biblical truth. But, as an aside, the Biblical Church had no priests. So by the Fourth Century, the church had already forgot many basic doctrines, especially monotheism.
Jesus said, "Hear O Israel, the Lord Our God is one." (Mark 12:29) Paul agreed saying, "There is one God, the Father " (1 Cor 8:6, also Eph 4:6 (one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.), 1 Tim 2:5 (For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,), Mal 2:10 (Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us?), and 150 other monotheist scriptures.
Finally, the Council of Nicaea established Easter as a holy day. In fact, Hyslop (Two Babylons) says Easter comes from Astarte the Babylonian goddess of fertility, whose rites and symbols traveled about parts of the world.
Here is what Infopedia says about Easter:
"Easter, a Christian festival, embodies many pre-Christian traditions. The origin of its name is unknown. Scholars, however, accepting the derivation proposed by the 8th-century English scholar St. Bede, believe it probably comes from Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon name of a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility, to whom was dedicated a month corresponding to April. Her festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox; traditions associated with the festival survive in the Easter rabbit, a symbol of fertility, and in colored Easter eggs, originally painted with bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring, and used in Easter-egg rolling contests or given as gifts.
Such festivals, and the stories and legends that explain their origin, were common in ancient religions. A Greek legend tells of the return of Persephone, daughter of Demeter, goddess of the earth, from the underworld to the light of day; her return symbolized to the ancient Greeks the resurrection of life in the spring after the desolation of winter. Many ancient peoples shared similar legends. The Phrygians believed that their omnipotent deity went to sleep at the time of the winter solstice, and they performed ceremonies with music and dancing at the spring equinox to awaken him.
"Constantine I, Roman emperor, convoked the Council of Nicaea in 325. The council unanimously ruled that the Easter festival should be celebrated throughout the Christian world on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox; and that if the full moon should occur on a Sunday and thereby coincide with the Passover festival, Easter should be commemorated on the Sunday following."
As already suggested above, heaven was a concept of ancient paganism, which thought gods and others would reside in the heavens after death. Thus, we get such gods as Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Luna becoming heavenly bodies. Therefore, the good people in Protestantism and Catholicism would ascend into heaven after death and become a star or something. So instead of name a star after a person, a person becomes a star.
Actually, the Bible says forty-one times that believers are resurrected from the dead. No where does the Bible say or indicate that believers go to heaven. Because Jesus said that in his Fathers house are many mansions, Constantines followers mislead people into thinking the mansions are in heaven. Actually, the Bible says Our Fathers throne is coming from heaven to the new Earth some thousand plus years from now.
(See: Mat 22:23 Mat 22:28 Mat 22:30 Mat 22:31 Mat 27:53 Mar 12:1 Mar 12:23 Luk 14:14 Luk 20:27 Luk 20:33 Luk 20:35 Luk 20:36 John 11:24 John 11:25 Act 1:22 Act 2:31 Act 4:2 Act 4:33 Act 17:32 Act 17:18 Act 23:6 Act 23:8 Act 24:15 Act 24:21 Rom 1:4 Rom 6:51Co 15:121Co 15:13 1Co 15:211 Co 15:291Co 15:42 Phi 3:10 Phi 3:112Ti 2:18 Heb 6:2 Heb 11:351Pe 1:31Pe 3:21 Rev 20:5 Rev 20:6.)
Going to heaven, keeping Christmas and Easter, having Sunday worship, and holding the view that God is trinity are not in the Bible. Check your concordance.
With all these major doctrines initiated by Constantine and the bishops, perhaps Constantanity might be a better word to define modern Protestantism and Catholicism than Christianity.