Let's look at one of the chief constructors of the Roman Catholic church who made the almost fatal mistake of trying to legislate Christianity, but instead, filled the church with unregenerate souls who called themselves Christians. In trying to follow the edict of Constantine the church was filled with pagans making a mockery of the Gospel and the church.
This began an over 1000 year process of corrupting the church from within by joining the church with the pagan world political system. Please understand that under Constantine Christianity was simply granted freedom of worship in his Edict of Milan in A.D. 313. It was a subsequent successor, Theodosius (379-395), who made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire in A.D. 381. (The Da Vinci Deception, Dr. Chuck Missler, Koinonia House Publications, part 3, 2004)
Let's examine where it started. Constantine was born in Naissus, Upper Moesia, on 27 February in roughly AD 285. Another account places the year at about AD 272 to 274. He was the son of Helena, an inn keeper's daughter, and Constantius Chlorus. It is unclear if the two were married and so Constantine may well have been an illegitimate child.
When in Constantius Chlorus in AD 293 was elevated to the rank of Caesar, Constantine became a member of the court of Diocletian. Constantine proved an officer of much promise when serving under Diocletian's Caesar Galerius against the Persians.
He was still with Galerius when Diocletian and Maximian abdicated in AD 305, finding himself in the precarious situation of a virtual hostage to Galerius. In AD 306 though Galerius, now sure of his position as dominant Augustus (despite Constantius being senior by rank) let Constantine return to his father to accompany him on a campaign to Britain.
Constantine however was that suspicious of this sudden change of heart by Galerius, that he took extensive precautions on his journey to Britain. When Constantius Chlorus in AD 306 died of illness at Ebucarum (York), the troops hailed Constantine as the new Augustus. Galerius refused to accept this proclamation but, faced with strong support for Constantius' son, he saw himself forced to grant Constantine the rank of Caesar during AD 312.
He reportedly, on the eve of the battle of Milvain Bridge just outside of Rome, saw in the sky a vision of the cross, with the words, “In this Sign Conquer...” Under Constantine Christianity went from being a religion to a political force used by governments to control people, and therefore, determined the religions course.
During the course of his being the Caesar he:
1. Abolished Roman slavery
2. Abolished gladiatorial fighting
3. Stopped the killing of unwanted babies
4. Stopped crucifixion as a form of execution
5. Relocated the capital of the world to Byzantium
As Caesar he issued several edicts:
1. Edict of Toleration
2. Edict of Sunday rest instituted
3. Edict which encouraged every one to “embrace” Christianity
According to Barnes, Constantine was baptized several months before his death. Only God knows if Constantine was actually saved by and live for Jesus Christ. At best, Constantine's character could be characterized “the good, the bad, and the ugly”.
At worst, by trying to legislate devotion, he inadvertently filled the church with unregenerate souls just complying with his created law. This obviously negates "free will', which will promote a true rebirth lifestyle change to learning Godly living.
Thomas D.Barnes, The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine, pgs. 69, 70, 72, 79, and 80.
A. M. H. Jones, The Later Roman Empire, pgs. 107-109.
Eusebius, Caesariensis,Vita Constantini, pgs. 54-58.
Thank you for reading the articles. I realize that church history is not exciting reading. However, if we don't learn from past history, mankind has a way of repeating its failures.
Please subscribe at the + sign above and below the article. My hope is that you both learn and enjoy the articles. I'm not here to convince you to believe as I do.
I will always try to prepare the body of Christ for the soon coming rapture, warn against apostasy, and allow you to study the Word of God and then come to your own conclusions. God's blessings to you and your family. You may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.