We associate Christianity so closely with Jesus! And Christians have been taught that the Romans are the heroes and not the villains of the history of Christianity. But when the Roman Emperor Constantine presided over the First Council of Nicaea in the Year 325 CE, in which he invented the modern Christian religion, he kept nothing of the love-based Christian movement that had prevailed for the previous three hundred years, and he kept very little of what Jesus had taught. Instead, it is Constantine’s ideas about humanity’s unworthiness and Jesus’s need to sacrifice Himself for humanity’s sins that remain at the core of the Roman Christian religion to this day.
What followed First Nicaea was a fearful and bloody seventeen hundred years. As Pope John Paul II was quoted by the Chicago Tribune as saying in June of 1995, “How can one remain silent about the many forms of violence perpetrated in the name of the faith—wars of religion, tribunals of the Inquisition and other forms of violations of the rights of persons?” And with that quotation begins the historian Helen Ellerbe’s great 1996 expose, The Dark Side of Christian History. Ellerbe says that her book is meant to give a balanced view, but that it is “in no way intended to diminish the beautiful work that countless Christian men and women have done to truly help others. And it is certainly not intended as a defense of or tribute to any other religion.”
Ellerbe goes on to say, “People of gentler cultures share the same human nature as we of Western civilization; it is our beliefs that differ. Tolerant and more peaceful cultures have respected both masculine and feminine faces of God, both heavenly and earthly representations of divinity. It is the limited belief in a singular supremacy and only one face of God that has resulted in tyranny and brutality.” And she notes that, “The Christian church has left a legacy, a world view, that permeates every aspect of Western society, both secular and religious. It is a legacy that fosters sexism, racism, the intolerance of difference, and the desecration of the natural environment.”
In Helen Ellerbe’s learned view, all of Western history and culture were shaped in awful ways by the power of the Roman Christian Church. “As it took over leadership in Europe and the Roman Empire collapsed, the Church all but wiped out education, technology, science, medicine, history, art and commerce … (and) It rallied an increasingly dissident society against perceived enemies, instigating attacks upon Muslims, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and Jews. When these crusades failed to subdue dissent, the Church turned its force against European society itself, launching a brutal assault upon southern France and instituting the Inquisition.”
Wow. Before the Roman Christian Church fully conquered Europe, at least twenty-five million innocent people died under torture or in warfare by its actions. And by now, that same Roman Christian Church has splintered into more than forty thousand versions worldwide. Is it any wonder that it is finally dying? But as it dies, at last we have the opportunity to finally open the Bible that Constantine created and read the precious teachings of Jesus for ourselves! It is time at last, after seventeen hundred wasted years, for those who love Jesus to sit down at the feet of the Master and learn God’s perfect Truth from Jesus Himself. Jesus’s Website is teachingsbyjesus.com