There were several competing religions with early Catholic Church. Was truth stamped out in favor of political expediency?
When Constantine convened the council of Nicea in 325, they had several issues to deal with. Christianity had recently been made the official religion of the Roman Empire. Before that, Christians had been prosecuted, tortured, and killed. With widespread acceptance, Christianity, and the wonderful liberating story of Jesus the Nazarene was spreading like wildfire.
But the church had a problem. Because it was an official religion, it was linked with the Roman government and leadership. Constantine, then Roman Emperor, convened the council to formalize this young religion, and create a set of rules that all the Bishops could agree on. There were many different sects at that time, and by choosing one set of rules and regulations, they would effectively deem all the competing sects as heretical.
One of these was the growing idea of Gnosticism, or Christian mysticism. This is basically the idea every single human is a divine entity occupying a material existence.While this can seem to be a very compelling belief system to individuals, it is anathema to a centralized government.
If people believed they could find the divine within themselves, what would the need be to develop obedience to an Emperor who claimed to hold the keys to heaven? History shows us that both early Christians, and Later the Church of Islam found this idea to be incompatible with centralized church rule.
The result of the first and second councils of Nicea resulted in the Nicene Creed, which clearly involves stating an overt belief in the power of the church. But what if there is more to it than that? What the early Gnostics were in some way right?
The fact that this mystical thinking is readily available today suggests there may be some truth hidden beneath the surface. A truth that the early church tried to cover up, however unsuccessfully.
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