Constantine Makes Himself a Church

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It was on this day in the year 325, that the Emperor Constantine the Great who had invited all the bishops of Christendom to a conclave convened that gathering.

There were an estimated eighteen hundred bishops in the known world and of that number somewhere in the vicinity of three hundred took the emperor up on his invitation. They came from as far away as Britain and Persia.

The conclave has come to be called the First Council of Nicaea.

If one was in a harsh mood, you could say it was the day the Christianity died. And it was about to be replaced by the Orthodox and Roman church. Maybe that’s an exaggeration. Me, well, I think a lot was lost. And this isn’t a bad marker for that winnowing.

Now the original Christian church was already gone. The wild variety of expressions and perspectives that had been Christianity at its beginnings three hundred years before was tightening up. And that tightening was getting faster.

In fact one could suggest with this conclave the moping up phase had begun. The breadth of thought allowed those who claimed the name Christian was being ever more narrowed. One god. And one emperor. And the distinction between the two was going to become unclear for a while.

Constantine was forming a church in his own image.

And for a whole lot of people it wasn’t going to turn out well…