The Nicene Creed
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18-06-2014, 07:27 AM
The Nicene Creed
So I was doing a little research on the origin of a few religions and came across something I'd never knew existed, the Nicene Creed. So I found this very interesting but before I get into that a little background on what this is for the folks that don't know.

The Nicene Creed has been normative for the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Church of the East, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the Anglican Communion, and Protestant denominations. It forms the mainstream definition of Christianity itself in Nicene Christianity.[1]

The Nicene Creed was adopted in the face of the Arian controversy. Arius, a Libyan presbyter in Alexandria, had declared that although the Son was divine, he was a created being and therefore not co-essential with the Father, and "there was when he was not,"[13] This made Jesus less than the Father, which posed soteriological challenges for the nascent doctrine of the Trinity.[14] Arius's teaching provoked a serious crisis.

So from the very beginning of Christianity people were finding loopholes such as in the divine trinity and speaking up. This made me pretty proud to see that even back when we didn't know much people didn't just settle and went with it, they questioned. What is not really mentioned in most article on the creed is the fact that during the meeting where the creed was drawn up and signed they were given an ultimatum. Sign the treaty and agree that Jesus Christ was equal to the creator or be cut off from civilization.Undecided This reminded me of all the friends I knew who were cut off from family because they were atheist, gay, or both. For a religion that preaches so much about love thy neighbor and such ousting someone who doesn't agree with you has to be the most non humane thing to do to anyone.

Just wanted to share this with everyone and hopefully you go and do a little research on your own and don't take my word for it.
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18-06-2014, 08:00 AM
RE: The Nicene Creed
Thank you for this research MrKrispy! I'd only ever heard of the Nicene Creed and knew that some people would cite it as an expressions of their belief.

So, you are saying this was an agreed upon document one would be forced to adhere to or face penalty of abandonment? Consider Damn. It practically traces to it's roots, the history of prescribed psychological rape fostered within the church. What a mind fuck.

Human beings can do heartbreaking things to each other sometimes. It's unbelievable that one would have a piece of paper to wave around as a back up credential for being an asshole. I'm sorry if you've personally had to endure any of this. Shy

On occasion, I've observed many theists have quite an aversion to one particular sect or another within their own religion... the Catholic Church being highly suspect by many. Interesting.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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18-06-2014, 08:05 AM
RE: The Nicene Creed
(18-06-2014 08:00 AM)kim Wrote:  So, you are saying this was an agreed upon document one would be forced to adhere to or face penalty of abandonment? Consider Damn. It practically traces to it's roots, the history of prescribed psychological rape fostered within the church. What a mind fuck.

Spot on sir. That's exactly what it is. Even from the start this is evidence on how this religion just wants to control the way you think. It's a damn shame.
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18-06-2014, 08:40 AM
RE: The Nicene Creed
below is a paper I wrote on this, for privacy I will delete my last name and the name of the professor. Long read, but substantiated.

Eric ######
Professor ##########
Christian Spirituality Vision REL 123
March 19 2014

The development of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity

For a church to be considered a New Testament church it shall accept the biblical New Testament as its sole authority for all matters of faith. A “true” biblical church shall not accept any authority for its faith and daily practice, outside of the New Testament Scriptures. This does not discard the importance of the Old Testament Scriptures by any means. The church is not based on the biblical Old Testament because that is the record of God’s dealing with Israel. In the New Testament you will find a specific pattern and instructions from God concerning the church. The followers of the New Testament church model believe in the irrefutable word of God, that the Bible is complete as written, and it is, “… Given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

New Testament church parishioners believe that any hierarchy outside of the local church, is unsupported by Scripture. They think that Christ is the head, and that the New Testament Scriptures are the “true” churches only sole authority. I always find it amusing that with all the religions in the world, multiple versions of God or gods, and various holy books and ideologies of creation, that the believer of each religion thinks the believers of other religions are wrong, and that their own belief is the truth, the will and the way of the one “true” God. Even within Christianity, if every Christian who ever called another Christian, not a “true” Christian was removed from earth, there would be no Christians.

The Congregational style of a New Testament church is basically a biblical form of church government. Final authority in a New Testament church rests with the delegation. Each member has an equal democratic vote. They believe that the Bible, specifically the New Testament teaches that churches are to be governed by their own congregation following strict biblical guidelines.

In Trinitarian theology, the father gives everything he has, his very being, as a free gift to his son. Since the Son has everything that the father has, then they are in fact equal (Albl 139). In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit is closely associated with God’s gift of prophecy. For example, “the Lord took some of the spirit from Moses and gave it to the elders, and they were able to prophesy also (Num 11:25). In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is closely associated with the creation of God’s son in human form. For example, Mary conceived Jesus not through ordinary human means, but “through the Holy Spirit” (Matt1:20). In essence, just as Jesus comes in the father’s name, so the Holy Spirit comes in Jesus’ name (Albl 150). I define the Holy Spirit as God’s breath, his very soul, that of which he can giveth away to create life itself.

The church understands such self-emptying on the part of God as simultaneously the fulfillment of human existence, whose transformative effects are extended in the church in the world through the work of the Holy Spirit (Mueller 44). As such, parishioners of the New Testament church believe that they can follow this example by sharing the Holy Spirit with others. This is “living through Christ” by spreading the good word, in line with strict interpretation of biblical reference.

In the New Testament, outside of the story of Christ in his teachings, is the insistent belief through Scripture that the end times or transition into the new world in the second coming of Christ to take his place as king of the world would occur at any moment. “That Christ would come soon is an expectation which appears even in the latter writings of the New Testament. It is present in almost every stratum” (Moule 141). A rationalist may posit that today things are going on exactly as they were before, and thus there will never be an end to the world. Believers in the New Testament think that the real mistake here is to make time the determining standard at all. A good analogy of this is that the Christian hope is not measured in terms of time, but in terms of the journey continuing to its completion; the incarnation. The question should not be when is the end of the world, but what can I do to be ready for it? (Moule 148).

Now let’s go back in time to the very formation, fabrication of the Christian faith, the Trinity concept and successful establishment of the Christian religion. We must begin with the immeasurable impact that Emperor Constantine had on the spread of Christianity, and successful suppression of incumbent Roman pagan beliefs. Legend has it that Emperor Constantine saw two stars cross in the sky, in which he took to be a sign from God that Christianity was the only true faith. While his conversion to Christianity in 312 was not truly the moment Christianity came to be the official religion of the Roman Empire, it definitely was one of the major contributing factors for its subsequent acceptance.

Emperor Constantine conducted a religious-based crusade against Licinius in a war to rescue Christians on the east from further persecution. In the years 312 to 313 Emperor Constantine began a systematic policy in which he gave honors, privileges and financial donations to the Christian church and their clergy. In 324, at the unchallenged controller of the East, he prohibited by Royal decree any cultic activities which until then fell under the traditional religions of the Roman Empire, and this is when the status of Christianity as the official religion of the state and its rulers was affirmed (Lieu 7).

Religious scholars concede that Emperor Constantine not only convened important council’s sessions, but also either presided over them, or appointed a Royal official to preside in his place. This reduced the very role of bishops and councils such as Nicaea and Tyre to utter insignificance by assimilating them to members of the Imperial consilium, whose advice was not binding on the Emperor. All decisions taken at the Nicene Council were made by Emperor Constantine alone, since he could completely disregard the advisory opinions of the bishops whom he had summoned to the Council (Lieu 8).

Some scholars contend that Emperor Constantine’s influence was minimal, and merely sat in on the councils out of personal interest. However, when we look at the Council of Nicaea of 359, we see that Emperor Constantine again took a prominent role of control in the theological debate. Once the foundation of Christianity as a predominant religion of the Empire had been successfully established, Emperor Constantine later relinquished some of his control and influence by putting a seal of approval on the rulings of bishops declared at councils. The governors of provinces were not even allowed to rescind what they had decided, for he said the priests of God were more trustworthy than any magistrate (Lieu 10).

We can trace back the very beginning of the entitlement mentality by church hierarchy to Emperor Constantine and his enabling policies. No matter what his crime, a bishop could only be deposed and exiled, not legally tortured and executed (Lieu 17). I am sure this was fundamental in developing the culture within the church of dealing with any indiscretions internally, and not invoking the authority of the legal system. This of course has led to much abuse throughout history. One has only to watch the news these days to see on a routine basis, some priest or other has been exposed for having performed a plethora of transgressions, hidden by the church by simply moving the clergy member to a new area. This mentality just exposes more people to being victimized.

On the basis of Christian faith and the Trinity concept; the father, the son and the Holy Spirit, the first Council of Nicaea in 325 called together by Emperor Constantine, worked to establish a settlement of the issue of the relationship between father and the son. The focus primarily was on defining Jesus Christ as a deity. Establishment of the Holy Spirit was largely unaddressed until after the father and son relationship was settled in 362. After Nicaea, some bishops continued to prefer a term which had been discussed and rejected by the Council: homoiousios, in the sense of the son ‘being of like substance’ with the father. There were other bishops who were antagonistic to the term homoiousios because it was not biblical (O’Collins 184). Seven years later, the Trinitarian terminology was officially adopted after first Council Constantinople.

In its letter to Pope Damascus, a post conciliar synod confessed ‘one divinity, power, or substance’ in ‘three most perfect hypostasesin’ (O’Collins 185). At the Trinitarian level, Constantinople I reaffirmed the Nicene Council confession of faith that the son was ’of one substance’ with the father, as well as teaching the divinity of the Holy Spirit (O’Collins 186). Thus, the official establishment of Christian doctrine regarding the Trinity of the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit was initiated.

Works Cited:

Mueller, J.J., Theological Foundations: Concepts and Methods for Understanding the Christian Faith. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2011. Print.

Albl, Martin C. Reason, Faith, and Tradition: Explorations in Catholic Theology. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2009. Print.

The Catholic Study Bible: The New American Bible 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University press, Inc., 2011. Print.

Moule, C. F. D., The birth of the New Testament. New York: Harper & Row, 1962. Print

Lieu, Samuel N. C., and Montserrat, Dominic, Constantine: History, Historiography, and Legend. London: Routledge, 2002. Print.

O'Collins, Gerald, Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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18-06-2014, 09:09 AM
RE: The Nicene Creed
Every fucking Sunday...

Quote:I BELIEVE in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried: And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

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18-06-2014, 10:16 AM
RE: The Nicene Creed
(18-06-2014 08:40 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  ---
... Even within Christianity, if every Christian who ever called another Christian, not a “true” Christian was removed from earth, there would be no Christians.
---

Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest ... Angel

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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