into the 21st
gets the Contract
must submit himself to the governing authorities,
there is no authority except that which God has established.
authorities that exist have been established by God.”
(Romans 13: 1. This is St Paul speaking)
this one of the clinchers that sold Christianity
Roman Emperor Constantine, putting it on the road
becoming the major religion of the West ?
Flavius Valerius Constantinus
(Circa 285 – 337 C.E.)
Constantine the Great
Starting with considerable persecution
under Emperor Augustus in the first century C.E., Christianity rose steadily in
importance in The Roman Empire until in 312 C.E. under Emperor Constantine it
made a sudden jump to become the official religion of the empire.
Christianity’s elevation to official
religion was something of a shock result, even for Christians, who at that time
were still subject to persecution and restrictions.
The story went like this. By 312 C.E.
the position of emperor had deteriorated to a junta of powerful figures who
were fighting for supremacy. Against overwhelming numerical odds, Constantine
defeated his main rival Maxentius at the Battle at the Milvian Bridge in October
Constantine later claimed to have had a
vision on the way to Rome, during the night before battle. In this dream he
supposedly saw the Christian cross with the inscription In hoc signo vinces (By this sign thou shalt conquer). This vision
of the cross was shining above the sun. Seeing this as a divine sign, it is
said that Constantine had his soldiers paint the symbol on their shields.
Accepted as emperor (Senior Augustus) by
the Senate and rivals, Constantine styled himself as “Emperor of a Christian
People” and effectively adopted Christianity as his personal religion although
he was only baptized on his deathbed.
All persecution of Christians was
forbidden and restrictions on them removed. He did not at first control the
entire empire until 324 C.E. after a series of hard fought campaigns.
Constantine began by giving Christian
institutions certain legal advantages and giving bishops official status within
the legal system. But he really got into gear after his victory of 324C.E.
feeling powerful enough to enforce his new religious policy, Constantine
outlawed pagan sacrifices. The treasures of pagan temples were confiscated and
used to pay for the construction of new Christian churches. Gladiatorial
contests were banned and harsh new laws were issued prohibiting sexual
immorality. Jews in particular were forbidden from owning Christian slaves.
decreed that firsts the old and then the new testaments of the Christian Bible
were the “Word of God”. All the churches got letters telling them this.
Christians moved from being oppressed to
being in power in under 20 years.
The miraculous conversion before the
He cannot have failed to notice that the
Christian Church had a ready made power structure which commanded considerable
obedience and loyalty from members. Declaring himself a Christian Emperor and
raising the official and legal status of the hierarchy would increase his
influence at all levels of society.
Romans 13: 1-7
1 Everyone must submit himself to the
governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has
established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
2 Consequently, he who rebels against
the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so
will bring judgment on themselves.
3 For rulers hold no terror for those
who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of
the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.
4 For he is God's servant to do you
good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for
nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the
5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit
to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for
the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.
7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you
owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if
honor, then honor.
This often quoted statement by Jesus when pushed by the
Pharisees about his attitude to paying taxes to the Romans, also recommends a
similar obedience to authority
Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s
The advantages of hi-jacking a group that has this attitude of
obedience to authority as part of its doctrine, making it an official part of
state apparatus and declaring it’s teachings as the word of god, offers so much
to a ruthless power operator such Constantine that it much have played a
crucial role in his decision to adopt Christianity.
It should be noted that there were several interpretations of
Christianity in existence between the time of Christ and 312 C.E. and that it
was St Paul’s version of Christ’s message that was adopted by The Roman Empire.
The Sun God’s Day becomes
the official Day of Worship.
worship of the Sun God was prevalent throughout the Roman Empire and it is no
accident that in 321 C.E. Constantine declared Sunday an official day of rest
in all the Roman Empire. This paved the way for the Council of Nicea to make
Sunday the official day for the worship of Christ four years later. The choice
of the Sun God’s day also had support from astrologers.
Christianity Gets the
The Council of Nicea 325
Once Christianity was on
the up, it faced division within itself over doctrine. To sort this out, under
the patronage of Emperor Constantine, The Council of Nicea was convened in 325
C.E. and lead to the Nicene Creed. This was one of the most important events in
the development of the Christian Church and a number of principles were
established which are still found today. The Council condemned paganism
in line with Constantine’s Christianization policy.
division started as a debate between the bishop Alexander and the presbyter
(pastor, or priest) Arius. Arius proposed that if the Father
Son, the latter must have had a beginning, that there was a time when he was not,
and that his substance was from nothing like the rest of creation. Once the
Council was convened, a large number of other issues were up for discussion.
Arius was overwhelmingly outvoted.
played an important role at the Council. Eusebius of Caesarea reports that he
played a key part in calming, convincing, and bringing all to agreement on
contested points. The account of Eusebius fairly glows in regard to
Emperor, and he is portrayed as a key figure. It is nowhere suggested, however,
that he was permitted to vote with the bishops nor that he used any form of
force to obtain an outcome. However Eusabius was very pro-Constantine.
probably never planned this convention but it is clear that he turned it to his
advantage and that it ultimately strengthened the central authority of the
H P Blavatsky on Constantine’s Vision
From the Theosophical Glossary
triad of initials stands for the in hoc signo of the alleged vision of
Constantine, of which, save Eusebius, its author, no one ever knew. I.H.S. is
interpreted Jesus Hominum Salvator, and In hoc signo. It is, however, well
known that the Greek IHS was one of the most ancient names of Bacchus. As Jesus
was never identical with Jehovah, but with his own “Father” (as all of us are),
and had come rather to destroy the worship of Jehovah than to enforce it, as
the Rosicrucians well maintained, the scheme of Eusebius is very transparent.
In hoc signo Victor ens, or the Labarum T (the tau and the resh) is a
very old signum, placed on the foreheads of those who were just initiated.
Kenealy translates it as meaning “he who is initiated into the Naronic Secret,
or the 600, shall be Victor” but it is simply “through this sign hast thou
conquered”; i.e., through the light of Initiation—Lux.
extract from H P Blavatsky’s Theosophical Glossary covering Constantine’s
The standard borne before the old Roman Emperors, having an eagle upon it as an
emblem of sovereignty. It was a long lance with a cross staff at right angles.
Constantine replaced the eagle by the christian monogram with the motto en
touty nika which was later interpreted into In hoc signo vinces. As to the
monogram, it was a combination of the letter X, Chi, and P, Rho, the initial
syllable of Christos. But the Labarum had been an emblem of Etruria ages before
Constantine and the Christian era. It was the sign also of Osiris and of Horus
who is often represented with the long Latin cross, while the Greek pectoral
cross is purely Egyptian. In his “Decline and Fall” Gibbon has exposed the
Constantine imposture. The emperor, if he ever had a vision at all, must have
seen the Olympian Jupiter, in whose faith he died.
into the 21st
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