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  • The Origin of the Trinity: From Paganism to Constantine
    • Cher-El L Hagensick (Login Donnie.Cruz)
      Posted Aug 31, 2017 1:51 AM

      The Origin of the Trinity: From Paganism to Constantine (Part 4)

      It was Tertullian (c.160-230) who first coined the term trinitas from which the English word ‘trinity’ is derived. He clarifies thus the ‘mystery of the divine economy... which of the unity makes a trinity, placing the three in order not of quality but of sequence, different not in substance but in aspect, not in power but in manifestation’ (qtd. in Lonergan 46). At other times he used other images to show his point, such as the monarchy: ‘... If he who is the monarch has a son, and if the son is given a share in the monarchy, this does not mean that the monarchy is automatically divided, ceasing to be a monarchy’ (qtd. in Lonergan 47). Again, Tertullian explains the concept of being brought forth: ‘As the root brings forth the shoot, as the spring brings forth the stream, as the sun brings forth the beam’ (qtd. in Lonergan 45).

      Tertullian did not consider the Father and Son co-eternal: ‘There was a time when there was neither sin to make God a judge, nor a son to make God a Father’ (qtd. in Lonergan 48); nor did he consider them co-equal: ‘For the Father is the whole substance, whereas the Son is something derived from it’ (qtd. in Lonergan 48). In Tertullian we find a groundwork upon which a trinity concept can be founded, but it has not yet evolved into that trinity of the Nicene Creed.

      The world around the early Church was changing. The Roman empire began to crumble and Constantine came to power. He wished to unify the Empire, and chose Christianity to do so. But Christianity was far from unified.

      Constantine invited the bishops from East and West to join him in the small seaside village of Nicea for a council to unify the church. McGiffert summarizes the council: three main groups were present at this council: Eusebius of Nicomedia presenting the Arian view of the Trinity, Alexander of Alexandria presenting the Athanasian version, and a very large ‘middle party’ led by Eusebius of Cesarea whose various theological opinions did not interfere with their desire for peace (259). Eusebius of Nicomedia submitted the Arian creed first and it was rejected. Then Eusebius of Cesarea submitted the Cesarean baptismal creed. Instead of submitting a creed of their own, the anti-Arians modified Eusebius’, thereby compelling him to sign it and completely shutting the Arians out. Those Arians who did not sign were deposed and exiled (261-263).

      Thus Constantine had his unified Church which was not very unified. McGiffert asserts that Eusebius of Cesarea was not altogether satisfied with the creed because it was too close to Sabellianism (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three aspects of one God). Eusebius was uncomfortable enough with the Nicene creed that he felt it expedient to justify himself to his own people in a long letter in which he states that he ‘resisted even to the last minute’ until the words were examined and it was explained that the words ‘did not mean all they seemed to mean but were intended simply to assert the real deity of the Son...’ (264-265). McGiffert goes on to show that a ‘double interpretation [was authorized by the leaders] in order to win Eusebius and his followers.’ (266).

      Lonergan shows just how much of the creed Eusebius took exception to as the words were explained. ‘Out of the Father’s substance’ was now interpreted to show that the Son is ‘out of the Father’, but ‘not part of the Father’s substance.’ ‘Born not made’ because ‘made’ refers to all other creatures ‘which come into being through the Son’, and ‘consubstantial’ really means that the Son comes out of the Father and is like him (75). It is clear that the council strongly lacked unity of thought. Lonergan goes on to explain that the language of debate on the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son has made many people think that the ‘Church at Nicea had abandoned the genuine Christian doctrine, which was religious through and through, in order to embrace some sort of hellenistic ontology’ (128). He concludes that the Nicene dogma marked the ‘transition from the prophetic Oracle of Yahweh... to Catholic dogma’ (136-7).

      The end result was far less than Constantine had hoped. That he personally was never truly swayed to Athanasius’ views is amply shown by Durant: Constantine invited Arius to a conference six years later; did not interfere with Athanasius’ expulsion by the Eastern bishops; had an Arian bishop, Eusebius of Nicomedia, baptize him; and had his son and successor, Constantius, raised as an Arian (Age 7-8).

      The Nicene was not a popular creed when it was signed. Durant affirms that the majority of Eastern bishops sided with Arius in that they believed Christ was the Son of God ‘neither consubstantial nor co-eternal’ with his Father (Age 7). Arianism has never been truly quenched. While the West accepted the Athanasian view of the Trinity, and the East accepted the Trinity of the Cappadocian fathers, Arianism lives on in the Unitarian Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in many smaller religions.

      There is an unfortunate side to the whole Athanasian/Arian debate. Campbell could find no parallel in medieval nor modern times in the intensity of debate (49). Historically, this ‘doctrine of God’ has proved to be a bloody doctrine that has no relation to the true God of love, nor His Son Jesus Christ. Durant details the problems that arose from the Council at Nicea and summarizes that period with a dreadful verdict: ‘Probably more Christians were slaughtered by Christians in these two years (342-3) than by all the persecutions of Christians by pagans in the history of Rome’ (Age 8). Thus they perverted the teachings of Christ: ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’,{# Mt 19:19} and of his apostles: ‘If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us’.{# 1Jo 4:12}
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    ...........................THE BOOK

    What Happened at the Madison Church of Christ?

    There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

    This book is only about one of those churches. It's about the Madison Church Of Christ. By studying the methods used here along with the resource references you might be able to inoculate your church. At the very least you will recognize the signs early on.

    Many of the current members of the Madison Church of Christ still don't know what happened.
    Some never will know! This book is for them as well.

    Madison Church of Christ was a 60 year old church. At one time it was one of the largest churches in the US, and the largest Church of Christ.

    It thrived for many years on the vision of it's elders and those of it's ministers. Those visions undoubtably came from the the inspired word of Jesus Christ.

    At sometime in the last 10 years there was a deliberate plan by a majority of the elders to take the Madison Church of Christ into a more worldly realm.

    They used secrecy, covert planning, and outside sources to scheme and to change the format and direction of the Madison Church of Christ.

    The Elders knew that the membership would never approve such a plan. Using the tools of the "Community Church Movement"(consultants, books, seminars, meetings,planters,seeders) they slowly started initiating change so it was never noticed by the members until it was too late.....

    At the heart of the plan was the fact that old members were going to be driven off so new techniques could be used to go out and reach the unchurched through new "Contemporary Holy Entertainment" methods developed by the "Community Church Movement"

    Old members had to be kept on board long enough to get their plans ready, or the funds would not be there to pay for the new building. So by the plans very nature, it had to be secret.

    The church had no plan in effect to renew or approve elders. There was never any need. The elders had always been "as approved by God". 10 of the last 15 elders would begin to shed some doubt on that.

    The Elders did not even need a majority at first, because some of the elders went along unwittingly.

    This edition starts shortly after some of the members begin to smell something strange in January 2001. Later editions may go back and fill in some of the timeline.

    To even start to understand whats happening here, you must read the background materials in the first of the book.

    This is only the first edition, and not the end. New editions will be printed as needed. To keep abreast of current changes, please visit our web site;

    Here is the list of players;

    5 Godly Elders
    10 Not so Godly Elders
    120 "Deacons" (allegiance unknown)
    2,800 - 4,000 church "members"
    2 "teners" (people who have publicly confessed to have broken all ten commandments)
    Unknown number of "sinners" (This is what the 10 elders call us.)
    Unknown number of "demons" (Flying everywhere, to many to count)

    Click Here......The Book is Available Now FREE

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