Why the councils of Nicea in 325AD and 787AD are so important to understand in respect to how Christianity is “mostly” practiced in our time
I understand that it is “risky business” to bring forward a subject of this type in these times. What I am attempting to do is to draw together information that might help “ordinary” people to better understand the political evolution of Christianity as it seems to exist today. I have elected to take the simplest method that I can in order to convey my message. I am not pretending that the contents of this blog are authoritative!
You will find that I have attached two files to this blog. File 1 provides insight into the “inner workings” of both councils. I have done this in case my readers have little knowledge about what both of these councils were all about. File 2 is much more comprehensive document that I have cut and pasted from a major work that I located online several years ago. This file is the defining document of this blog.
I consider that the first council of Nicea is the more important of both these religious assemblies. I say this for the following quoted reason. [I have italicised and emboldened the text that I feel you should most consider].
“The Council of Nicea was a landmark in several ways. It is generally thought of as the first ecumenical council, because it was the first council which brought together representatives from throughout Christendom, including those of opposing theological viewpoints. And it is theologically significant in that the doctrine of the Trinity emerged from the council as a mark of orthodoxy which still holds to this day.
But perhaps of even greater significance is that it was the first church council sanctioned by the ruling political entity. The emperor’s role in the council seems to have been nothing but positive, but the council signaled the beginning of an often stormy relationship between church and state which was to dominate the course of western history for over a thousand years until the Reformation in the 16th century. The relationship between church and state has continued to be an important political issue to the present day. Although there were unquestionable benefits to the church-state relationship, such as an end of persecution and freedom to proselytize, there were also some negative aspects. In particular, a potential for doctrinal despotism was created. With the support of the state, the church was able to dictate orthodoxy and to enforce conformity by making it a crime to express anything, publicly or privately, which contradicted the official position. This was to have a chilling effect on freedom of religion and freedom of expression, and would in time lead to rampant corruption. The church which had once been persecuted now became the persecutor. The Reformation, in which millions of believers seceded from the Catholic Church, was the eventual result. But at Nicea, at least, there was cause for celebration for the “army of martyrs” who were in attendance.”
Item 1: The introductory file
Item 2: The primary discussion document [written by various different authors]