First, there is no separation of 'church' and state and never has been in the history of mankind. As used in the New Testament, the word 'church' comes from the Greek word ekklesia or ecclesia which refers to a political assembly or town council. Why was this word used in relation to the New Testament church? Because politics and religion have always made up what we know as government. Historically, kings were considered gods and it was very easy to control humanity through fear by means of esoteric philosophy and mystery belief systems (religion). This goes way back to ancient Sumerian kings (creators of Common Law), Babylon and subsequently, the Roman Empire. The same group of 'elites' have always run everything. So politics, religion and Common Law have always functioned as a unit.
Second, this cabalistic power structure was severely threatened during what we know as 'the time of Christ.' The historical Jesus (not his true name) rendered scathing public condemnation of the "powers that were" (Pharisees), the likes of which was never heard before nor since. The movement that followed threatened to bring down the entire religious facade to the point where the controllers utilized the appearance of acquiescence in order to maintain domination. Enter the Frick and Frack (Emperors Constantine and Theodosius) of Roman Law which is also known as Vatican Cannon Law or in modern times, International Law.
In order to stabilize Roman control and please the elite puppet masters, Emperor Constantine invented a 'super-religion' by combining Mithraism (pagan sun-god worship), Judaism and Pauline Christianity and legalized it through the Edict of Milan. This gave the appearance of religious tolerance and "stopping the persecution of Christians," but actually cemented Roman control of the masses.
What is practiced as Christianity today has nothing whatsoever to do with the teachings of the historical "Jesus" figure. In 325 AD, Constantine called together an assembly, supposedly representing all of Christendom, known as the First Council of Nicaea—the first ecumenical council. This group of bishops developed a uniform doctrine and statements of belief called the Nicene Creed and voila! Constantine's new super-religion was formed and ironically shared much more in common with the Roman elite's religion (Mithraism) than with Jesus' freedom message.
Jesus' message was to follow our inner spirit instead of surrendering power to kings and rulers through written law. (The 'word' referred to in the book of John is not talking about the written word as in 'Bible'. The term "word" in the Greek is logos, which is the spoken word.) He spilled the beans that we, all of us, are the children (aspects) of God and thus heirs of all creation. His teachings threatened to topple the hierarchical social structure that had been in place since recorded history. And so those running the power structure falsely appeared to concur with Jesus' teachings, all the while undermining them. The elite had to make sure there would be no more renegade teachers revealing truth to the masses.
Now, all of that said, how did Christianity become the world religion that it is today? And how is it that humanity keeps falling for the ruse of religious wars (and what we call terrorism)? In short, it has always been by frightening the masses into dedicating their lives to some philosophy or religion and creating wars to defend it.
The time was April, 390; the place, a hippodrome (horse track) in Thessalonica. One of the most prosperous cities Roman Greece, Thessalonica enjoyed an almost fanatical rivalry between several teams of charioteers. (Imagine the NFL's Broncos, Panthers and Cowboys all from the same city and you have the picture.)
One night, one of Thessalonica's most favored charioteers was caught trying to rape a male cup-bearer. Botheric had him arrested and thrown in prison. Angry fans demanded the charioteer's release but Botheric stood his ground and refused. Finally the townspeople formed a mob and stormed Botheric's quarters. A riot ensued and Botheric, along with several Roman officers, were literally torn limb from limb.
When word of the murders reached Emperor Theodosius I, he flew into a rage. He immediately dispatched military units to Thessalonica with an order to avenge their comrades as they saw fit. The emperor's army waited until the townspeople were gathered at the hippodrome, and then entered the city. Half the soldiers looted and plundered houses while the other half took over the hippodrome, drawing swords on spectators who panicked and created a stampede.
Meanwhile, Theodosius came to his senses and realized the graveness of his impulsive decree. He immediately sent messengers to revoke the orders and spare the city, but the messengers arrived too late. Some 7,000 townspeople including men, women and children were either crushed to death in stampedes or gutted by Roman swords. The travesty echoed across the land sending shock waves throughout the Empire.
Theodosius wept and mourned in his palace for eight months when his senior administrative officer, Rufinus, encouraged him to approach the Bishop again. But it was only after months of penance that Ambrose finally forgave him.
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