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Monday, September 14, 2009

HIST (Part 4)

The History of the Development of the Trinity Doctrine
(page 4 of 7)  View Entire File

1 But, to get back to the influences upon that infamous council, the most influential person at the Nicene Council was Bishop Hosius of Cordova (sometimes translated “Ossius” or “Osius of Cordoba”) who actually presided over most of the Council sessions. He was the representative for the Pope (the Bishop of Rome) and the most trusted, most influential “Christian” advisor for the Emperor himself. As the leader of the Western, Alexandria-influenced bishops he was committed to the trinity idea. It is he who ultimately convinced the Emperor to decide (against the large majority of bishops present) in favor of the “Jesus is God” doctrine.[126, 127]  In fact, Constantine relied almost exclusively on this trinitarian advisor and had very little interest in the actual decision of this council (except that it must permanently resolve the religious dissension in his Empire):

“Constantine had basically no understanding whatsoever of the questions that were being asked in Greek Theology” - p. 51, A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Lohse, Fortress Press, 1985.

2 About 20 years before Emperor Constantine convened the Nicene (or Nicaean) Council, the famous Bishop Hosius of Cordova was the “leading spirit” of the Council of Elvira in 306 A.D.[128] As The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us:

“It is significant that the leading bishop at Elvira [Bishop Hosius] was to preside at the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325."[129]

3 It is significant indeed! Was this “leading spirit” himself guided by Holy Spirit and Holy Scripture? Well, let’s look at the results of the Council of Elvira, for, as Jesus forewarned:

“You will know them by their fruits.” - Matt. 7:16, NASB

Here, then, are the “fruits” of the Council of Elvira: its published canons. According to The Catholic Encyclopedia (p. 185),

“[The Council of Elvira] published the oldest known positive law concerning clerical celibacy."[130]

And what is “clerical celibacy”? Again The Catholic Encyclopedia (p. 100) informs us:

“Celibacy is the ecclesiastical law in the western [Roman Catholic] Church imposed on clerics forbidding ... those in holy orders from marriage.”

4 Now turn to God’s inspired word at 1 Timothy 4:1-7 (NEB):

“... some will desert from the faith and give their minds to subversive doctrines inspired by devils, through the specious falsehoods of men whose own conscience is branded with the devil’s sign.”

And exactly how can we recognize those who “desert from the faith and give their minds to subversive doctrines”?

THEY FORBID MARRIAGE and demand abstinence from foods.” - 1 Tim. 4:3, NRSV.

Throughout the history of Biblical Israel God allowed his priests and high priests to marry (even John the Baptist’s father was a married priest - Luke chapter 1). And the Christian servants of God were permitted to marry (and remain married) throughout the writings of the New Testament Scriptures (e. g., 1 Tim. 3:2, 4) and up to the time of Hosius.

So what was it that inspired Bishop Hosius to include this God-defying command to forbid marriages in the edicts of the Roman Church? Well, 1 Tim. 4:1 clearly shows the source of that spirit, but the actual agent of that spirit at this time was the very popular and influential surrounding pagan mystery religions and philosophies!

In particular, Hosius and his Alexandrian-influenced confederates borrowed extensively from the Alexandrian trinity cult of Serapis-Isis-Horus:

“The contributions of the Alexandrine cult to Christian thought and practices were even more considerable .... Its priests took on the head-shaving [“tonsure” of Catholic priests] and the characteristic garments of the Egyptian priests, because that sort of thing seemed to be the right way of distinguishing a priest. One accretion followed another."[131]

More specifically:

“the ceremonial burning of candles ... was a part of the worship of the Serapeum .... her [Isis’] images stood in the temple, crowned as the Queen of Heaven and bearing the infant Horus in her arms. The candles flared and guttered before her and the wax ex-votos hung about the shrine. The novice was put through a long and careful preparation, he took vows of celibacy, and when he was initiated his head was shaved and he was clad in a linen garment .... The garments of ritual and symbol and formula that Christianity has worn, and still in many countries wears to this day were certainly woven in the cult and temples of Jupiter-Serapis and Isis that spread now from Alexandria throughout the civilized world.'[132, 133, 134, 135]

Rome itself was greatly influenced by its own celibate pagan priests (in addition to those of Jupiter-Serapis-Isis above which Rome also had imported).

“When the worship of Cybele, the Babylonian goddess, was introduced into Pagan Rome, it was introduced in its primitive form, with its celibate clergy.” - p. 220, The Two Babylons, Hislop.

5 And the highly-respected and very popular religion of Mithraism (which Emperor Constantine himself favored) was well-known for its celibate priests.

“Originally  was one of the lesser gods of the ancient Persian pantheon, but he came to be regarded as the spiritual Sun, the heavenly Light,... and already in the time of Christ he had risen to be co-equal with, though created by, Ormuzd (Ahura-Mazda), the Supreme Being....” (pp. 136-137) “Mithraism had its austerities, .... It had also its nuns and its male CELIBATES.” - p. 143, The Paganism in our Christianity, Weigall, New York, 1974.

So we see that in both Alexandria and Rome the customary perception of a priest included the unscriptural pagan concept of celibacy!

6 For those who accept the authority of the Holy Scriptures and the testimony of history, there can be absolutely no doubt as to what “spirit” motivated Hosius, who was the “leading spirit” of the Council of Elvira, and motivated the Roman Church which accepted the paganistic doctrines he advocated. “[those who] desert the faith and who give their minds to subversive doctrines inspired by devils” include those who “forbid marriage and inculcate abstinence from certain foods.” (Incidentally that same Roman Church did “inculcate abstinence from certain foods”: The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1976, admits, in the article entitled “Abstinence”: “The law of abstinence is binding to all over 14 years of age .... It forbids the eating of meat and soups of meat stock, gravy and sauces of meat. On days of complete abstinence these foods may not be eaten at all.” - p. 17.)

“In 325 the Council of Nicaea declared that those who were unmarried at ordination could not marry afterward ....” - p. 280, The Christian Book of Why, John C. McCollister (Lutheran minister and university professor - graduate of the Trinity Lutheran Seminary), NY, 1983. - - Also see p. 660 f.n., Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, vol. 3, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1944.

7 It becomes clear, then, why the Athanasians refused to agree to stick to the Holy Scriptures as their support for a multiple-person God during the Nicene Council: The western pagan-borrowing, Alexandrian-influenced “Christians” had been bending and ignoring Scripture for so long that it was already a clearly established pattern. Scripture had to be ignored in order to adopt popular paganisms. It should come as no surprise, then, that these paganizing Alexandria and Rome-influenced western bishops would not stick to scripture (in spite of the pleas by the majority of bishops present at the council) as the sole basis for their desired adoption of the trinity doctrine at the Nicene Council.

8 Why even during that very same council, according to Prof. McCollister above, they forced the inclusion of the pagan-inspired scripturally condemned practice of “forbidding marriage” (and “inculcating abstinence from certain foods"[135a])! This certainly shows the “fruits” of these men and the “fruits” of the Nicene Council as a whole!

9 Yes, embracing the more popular and influential pagan philosophies and religious doctrines and marrying them to god’s pure religion was more important to them than God’s inspired word. A clear example of the figurative “adultery” the Bible warns against!

10 But what about that “Christian” emperor who convened the Nicene Council and finally decided its “canons” himself? Saint Constantine some churches have named him. Was he really a trinitarian Christian? Was he a Christian at all?

As we have seen, [96, 97, 98, 99] Constantine, throughout most of his reign, was more pagan than Christian and didn’t even ask to be baptized as a Christian until he realized he was near death.

“Toward the close of his life he favored the [non-trinitarian] Arians ... and he even banished many Roman Catholic [trinitarian] bishops. In the year 337 he fell ill ..., was baptized, and died after a reign of 31 years.” - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 555, v. 7, 1944.

11 Not only did Constantine “favor” the Arians in his later years and help them to dominant positions in the Church that they retained for many years after his death,[136] but he made an extremely significant gesture as he was dying!

“Not until his last illness did he fully accept Christianity. Then he cried, ‘let there be no ambiguity!’ and asked for baptism [by an Arian, non-trinitarian bishop].” - Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia, v. 3, p. 456, 1950.

Yes, instead of calling in his old friend and advisor, Hosius, or even Athanasius, he called for Eusebius of Nicomedia, (the leader of the Arian party since the death of Arius) to baptize him! This certainly ended any ambiguity!

“[Eusebius of Nicomedia] baptized Constantine in 337, and became patriarch of Constantinople in 339 [the capital of the empire at that time].” - Americana, 1944, v. 10, p. 585.

What a powerful and significant 'deathbed' confession by Saint Constantine![137]

12 In other words, Constantine, upon the insistent advice of Hosius, had forced the trinitarian views of Athanasius and the Alexandrians upon a reluctant Church. Shortly after, however, he began exiling the trinitarians and restoring the Arians and Semi-Arians. Then, when he finally decided to fully become a Christian himself, he chose to be baptized as an Arian Christian to dispel any perception of ambiguity about himself and his desires for the empire.

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