20 March 2007

Why we study history

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” Epistle of James, 1.27

In the third and early fourth century of the common era, the Christian church underwent significant persecution. Under this persecution, when the authorities came after Christians, the temptation from fear to save one’s own life by denouncing others proved all too great, for clergy and laity alike. Preists and bishops committed apostasy, renouncing their faith. But when the church was made official under Constantine in 313, a significant question arose: What should be done with the apostate clergy? (It’s worthwhile noting here that the issue was one of theology AND of labor supply. There were serious issues around the sacraments, but also around having sufficient clergy to serve in Christianity’s new status.)
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Posted in Politicks, Rayleejun on 20 March 2007 at 9:15 am by Nate