Conversion Essay

1648 Words 7 Pages
Results of Conversion After defeating Maxentius and gaining control of Rome, Italy and North Africa, Constantine meet with Licinius in 313 to enter into alliance and consolidate his power. Together they would establish a policy of religious toleration. The Edict of Milan was the “Magna Charta of religious liberty,”[15] and it benefitted Christians in the following ways: 1) It allowed and even obligated Christians and non-Christians alike to preserve and uphold their own faiths and assemblies, 2) Those that desired might publicly convert to Christianity, 3) All Christian places of worship that were destroyed or appropriated during times of persecution were to be restored, and confiscated Christian property was to be returned or indemnified.[16] …show more content…
He saw himself as the protector of the church, so he felt that he was responsible for solving its internal problems. Shortly after becoming sole Roman Emperor, the first issue he helps to mediate was the conflict with bishop, Alexander, and a presbyter in the diocese, Arius.[21] Arius’ claim was that Jesus was a subsequent creation of God the Father and hence subordinate to him, even though he was fully divine.[22] This idea was vastly in opposition to the thought of the bishop majority, and it had serious implications for orthodox Christian theology. Most bishops believed that Christ was apart of the Godhead from the beginning of …show more content…
He tried to convert his subjects to Christianity through Christian governors, in the provinces, by letters and sermons, by rewarding towns for converting temples into churches, and by conforming to Christian worship.[28] The state was no longer in control, the church now had their hearts and minds and gradually winning the moral allegiance of the people. There were even those that began to promote Christianity for their own gain and well-being.[29] Unfortunately these same actions that help to strengthen the political influence of the church, also help to weaken the spiritual power and integrity of the faith. This meant it would be hard to discern between a genuine convert and some who were converted just on the surface. Legislating Christianity, in many ways diluted it with the addition of converts that were confused and often insincere. In addition, the marriage of church and state also gave way to subtle dangers. Often people would use the church as a vehicle to gain the compassion the emperor.[30] With the two institutions being so closely linked, it made it much easier for them both to be attacked. This only meant that the state began to rely more on the church to promote its political affairs and the church looked more to the state to legalize its

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