Constantine the Great made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. But he was a sun-worshiper who had members of his own family murdered. So did he advance Christianity, or something considerably different?
[Scott Ashley] I’m standing here in the heart of ancient Rome. Behind me is a very famous landmark called the Arch of Constantine. It’s been said that “All roads lead to Rome”. And that’s true religiously, in a lot of ways as well, because many of our religious beliefs go back to Rome and to the man who had this arch built in his honor, Emperor Constantine, in the fourth century AD.
What is significant about Constantine is he is viewed as the first of the Christian emperors of Rome. He made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. But was it real, biblical Christianity?
Not many people know much about Constantine. He was not the most converted individual, to be blunt about it. He was a worshiper of the sun god up until the end of his reign. He had coins made with his own head, his own face, on one side of the coin, and a dedication to the sun god on the opposite side. He was baptized only in the last few days of his life – on his deathbed, you might say. He also had some of his own family members murdered in his desire to maintain and gain power and control.
So is this truly a Christian man? Did he really bring Christianity to the Roman Empire, or something quite different? And if you examine the origins of your belief, where do ideas such as Christmas, Easter, Jesus Christ being born in the dead of winter on December 25th – did you realize that all of these things actually go back to ancient Greek Christian religions and were brought into the Roman Empire in various forms, and then institutionalized as a part of Christianity, and Constantine was one of the individuals who had a major part in this?
So what I’d like you to do is search through our website, continue watching Beyond Today, these Beyond Today Dailys, and examine the origins of your beliefs. Are they really found in the Bible, or did they come from other sources, as we see from the example of Emperor Constantine?
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