Vexen Crabtree (vexen) wrote,
Vexen Crabtree

Arian Christianity (the predecessor to modern Nicene Christianity)

As Jewish Christianity began to develop its own character, Jesus was no longer considered to be just a man. He had a special relationship with god, and was perhaps conceived of by God before anything was created. But he was not an eternal man nor a god. My page on Arianism continues:

"Arian Christianity" by Vexen Crabtree (2008)

Arianism describes the pre-trinitarian doctrine of a holy, but not a godly, Jesus. It is not always adoptionism and not always monotheistic, either. It was defined by a negative principal (that logically Jesus can't be God and still suffer on the cross). If Jesus was God (i.e., perfect), Arians realized, what chance would any Human have of imitating him? Although Arian-sounding theologies existed from the second century onwards, it only became a wide point of contention after the third century. In the third century Origen of Alexandria, the greatest theologian of his time, had declared that the Father was Greater than the Son. This principal was later named after its principal proponent and most articulate defender, Arius (256-336CE). It was opposed by Athanasius, who became a Nicene Christian from 325CE. In the Roman Empire, Arian Christianity was supplanted by intolerant Nicene Christianity by the 5th century, but remained the most popular form of Christianity amongst the tribes surrounding the empire, until the 8th century. [...]

The eventual victory of the Cappadocian Nicene faith from 380CE meant that as the Empire collapsed, the Christianity that was left behind was the dark, violent, centralized type that did not tolerate dissent. By the late fourth century, a recognizable Roman Catholic Church had emerged. The doctrine of the Trinity had been created, and the vengeful violence of Nicene Christianity was in full, open, bloody view. Anti-semitism was given its official sanction. The edited Nicene Creed was the only form of belief that was to be tolerated. Inquisitors began reviewing religious beliefs, condemning victims to imprisonment, torture and public execution for failing to believe the right things. This state of affairs persisted and plunged Christian societies into a 1000-year long dark ages. If the Arians had survived the onslaught and been the religion that the Empire left behind, we would have been left with a Christianity that would have left a glowing legacy of Jesus. Instead, the Nicene's violence and intolerance won out, and the 'ages of faith' that resulted darkened humanity from the fifth until the fifteenth century.

"Arian Christianity" by Vexen Crabtree (2008)
Tags: christianity, god, history, jesus, religion
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