Tuesday, June 03, 2008

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

Reading "Pagan Christianity" right now (by Frank Viola) and last night I couldn't help but wonder why none of the Christians during the time of Constantine fought against this unnatural transformation?

I know that there were some who did refuse to bow to Constantine and they exiled themselves to the desert in order to continue to worship and fellowship as they had been doing (these were called the "Desert Fathers"), but it seems the majority of Christians went along with the plan to paganize their faith.

Why did they do that? The incorporation of pagan ritual and the introduction of pagan structures would have been even more scandalous and blatantly obvious to those who were living at this time. Yet they didn't rise up when the Emperor hijacked their faith and introduced pagan elements. Why not? Did they think they could maintain their faith without being affected by these additions? Did they not care? Were they just so relieved that the sword was being removed from their throats that they would do anything the Emperor asked?

This has me curious. I have to dig a bit deeper to answer this question.

-kg

1 comment:

TheDHCosbyFam said...

I like this question a lot. It makes me think about what C.S. Lewis was trying to describe through the 'Screwtape Letters', Which I can't quote from memory, but the jist is that the senior demon is training the junior demon in the strategies for derailing Christians, he basically says that luring believers into apathy through comforts and convenience is far more effective than direct persecution. I suppose that the Christians who had suffered under several centuries of torture and alienation were easily tempted by the prospect of safety, prosperity and social prominence. So sad really, you see what the church looks like in places like China today, compared to say the U.S. and it's the same things at work. America is viewed by so many as a place where we have the right to every comfort and incentive to being a Christian, much like Constantine's day. Is it any wonder that people make the same conclusions in regards to Pastors and Clergymen being just religious versions of civil servants? I've been wondering about this issue when it comes to things like military chaplains especially. What a sticky combination of the church and the state. I honestly must side with ACLU folks at times when it comes this, although for completely different reasons... Starting to ramble, love ya.
- Daniel C.