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Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:07 am
by martillious
My fellow German... Greetings
I dont claim to be a historian but I am well versed in things pertaining to Church history. This thread is important because as we research this further
You will find that the church took a nose dive when Constantine came on the scene, and it is really sad. Now we must grow up and quit laying blame ha ha
because the torch has been passed from generation to generation until now and I hope the Church including myself can get back to its historical roots that of the early apostles and the sacred writings of Jesus. Personally I am greateful that I have developed the presence of mind discuss these subjects


Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:19 am
by Ragnar

I look foreward to an intelligent discussion.

WHICH we ALWAYS get on these boards.

"My fellow Germn"

Woher kommst Du dann?

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:43 pm
by martillious
Ragnar wrote:Good!
I just go home from work as you may know It takes me a long time to reply
but the wait is worth a good solid answer, or a good question


Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:09 am
by daibanjo
personally I love a good debate. For instance, I was looking through some posts and I saw that Dark Waters challenged me on the reason why Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem. I think that's great and i need to reply. Good healthy cross referencing in the spirit of fellowship, learning and mutual understanding and tolerance.
I hope, Martillious, you are here for the same type of debate.
Christianity was hijacked long before Constantine. It was changed forever after the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD when the insurrection failed and the spread of Messianic Judaism became a greater cause then the overthrow of the Roman Empire.

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:46 am
by martillious
Christianity was hijacked long before Constantine. It was changed forever after the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD when the insurrection failed and the spread of Messianic Judaism became a greater cause then the overthrow of the Roman Empire.[/quote]

Very good point and something that I can honestly say have not givin much thought to. The Roman Empire completely destroyed Jerusalem that had to of had an adverse effect on the minds the early Christians that lived than, however if what they say is correct and that the Apostle John wrote his material around 90 ( I, II, and III John, Revelation and his own gospel)The Church still kept its integrity even in spite of the complete obliteration of the
Jewish religion. Christianity became its own religion if you will and came under some hard core doctrinal struggles. Yet the religion prospered and had favor with men. Yet I agree that the ball got set in motion long befor Constantine. One has to wonder though why the people were so willing to give up their freedoms and not revolt, that to me is a good question 8-)


Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:03 am
by Kystar
In most cases when the Roman Empire took over a providence, they had more to offer the people than their current leaders.

They brought architecture to improve life, balanced laws, police services and a wide-based commerce system. Yes, the "conquered" peoples had to pay taxes and some got conscripted into the army...but in most cases they benefited from the Imperial Rule...until the Empire started becoming unbearably corrupt.

Imagine, if you're living in a small kingdom somewhere. You are a basic merchant...your king can't keep bandits from looting the towns. You have rarely any clean water. Your trade is limited because your king is focused more on his nobles and their squabbles than building proper roads. Your son is probably going to end up a foot solider in some lord's group and die in some stupid little battle because they didn't bother to do more than throw a leather vest and a spear at the boy.

Then, the Romans conquer...and suddenly, you have bathhouses and aqueducts...roads and trade...the farmers have irrigation systems. Trained troops rout the bandits. Yes, your son STILL gets conscripted, but they TRAIN him to actually FIGHT...instead of letting him be fodder. There are laws that cover things that were the king's whim before. Yeah, you're "conquered", you're paying taxes and tariffs...but you're more prosperous because you're part of an advanced civilization. You benefit almost as much as the Romans do.

And historical documents showed that unless the local religion countered the Roman authority, they were simply left alone...sometimes the Roman soldiers stationed in the area would blend your beliefs in with theirs...sort of loosing some of the finer details...but still keeping the important stuff.

They have a lot of evidence to support that in 99% of the Roman conquest cases...the natives actually benefited from the Roman occupation.

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:52 pm
by Arcanum Owl
Another thing that's has always been interesting about the Roman Empire was that until Emperor Constantine religion was never a big thing to the Romans. They were a pragmatic people, they spread there empire and there standards across the land but never really had a standard religion to go with the imperial stamp.

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:06 pm
by daibanjo
Kystar and Arcanum Owl are absolutely correct. Generally the Roman Empire was a benevolent rule. On the island of Britain, however, the Romans destroyed, or attempted to destroy, the power of the Druids. The Druids had storehouses on the island of Anglesey off the north west corner of Wales. The various tribes would give their excess food to the Druids who kept it stored there and if any tribe suffered a shortage the Druids helped them from these storehouses. This gave the Druids enormous political power as well as spiritual. The Romans invaded Anglesey and slaughtered the Druids as they did on the other holy isle of Iona off the coast of north east England. This was done because they saw the Druids, not as a religious heresy but as a political threat.
When the Romans first conquered a land, they could be quite brutal. They took over the Celtic settlement of Llun Dain, renamed it Londinium, then attempted to acquire the rest of Eastern England. They killed the man they thought was the king. However, they didn't understand Celtic culture. They hadn't killed the king, they had killed the queen's consort. She then united the tribes in rebellion and very nearly succeeded in throwing the Romans out. In typical Roman fashion the rebellion was ruthlessly put down. They played for keeps.
The Romans were on the Island for over 400 years and there is no doubt that overall there were great benefits to the occupation. The religion still flourished and the spiritual authority of the Druids was undiminished.
It can't be denied that whenever they saw a religion as a threat to their rule they took action against that part of it that was a threat. Another example, perhaps Ragnar has more information on this than I do, was a Holy Tree in the German forest. The Germanic tribes believed it was a source of great spiritual strength. So the Romans pulled it down.
To get back to Christianity. When the Romans couldn't take any more uprisings from the Jews they razed Jerusalem to the ground and, as they did in the two examples I gave, they tore down the Temple of Solomon. Jesus had said that if the Romans did that, he would raise it back up in three days. When the Temple still lay in ruins, that was the end of his support amongst the Jews. From then on it was gentiles all the way. No more circumsision and bread and wine on Sunday.

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:33 pm
by Ragnar
daibanjo wrote: Another example, perhaps Ragnar has more information on this than I do, was a Holy Tree in the German forest. The Germanic tribes believed it was a source of great spiritual strength. So the Romans pulled it down.
The Irminsul.

It was Karl der Große that did that in 772, under bequest of the first arch bishop of Bremen.

That is not to say the Romans did not do similar,as each tribe, or group of tribes have their own "Irminsul". It was seen much as a totem pole is seen today.

Taccitus mentions the great tree (an oak, which is the "official" German Tree/plant to this day. A bit like the thistle of Scotland, or the laurel of the Romans.)

The main one that Karl der Große destroyed was much like the "Thing" in Iceland. A meeting and law making point for all the Germanic tribes. Also further North than the Romans ever got as an invasion force. Individuals, such as Taccitus, and Saxo Grammaticus travelled in the arera quite freely.

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:39 am
by daibanjo
Thanks fpr clearing that up Ragnar. :notworthy:

Re: Sanitizing Jesus For Capitalism

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:27 am
by fatale
Lucus Rose wrote: Would we pagans be better off if christianity wasn't hijacked by Constantine and all that followed?

I don't think Pagans would be "better off" if Christianity had not become such a powerful force. It would be very different, but I'm not sure if it would have been beneficial.
Every person who goes through struggle and hardship comes out of the situation a changed being - for better or for good. We are not the same after we went through tough times.
Why would it be different with our religion. What could have happened to Paganism along the way? Paganism could have become a dominating force like Christianity is now. Most likely power seeking individuals would abuse the dieties and concepts for their own good. In my most terrifying vision I see a sort of Catholic hirachie, with some high priest/ess ruling the world. Not all polytheistic religions were all innocent, just look at old Agypt or South America.
We Neo-Pagans are a product of our religions past and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:03 am
by Willow
Interesting discussion here. Ahh, bread and butter, how I have missed you.

I am not sure that benelovent is a word I would use to describe the Romans..but meh, that is semantics.

now my Roman history stinks, but if I am not mistaken there was a cult of the Emperor in during the times of conquest. And one of the sources of conflict between the Jews and the roman empire was the refusal of the Jews to pay any sort of homage or participate in events of the cult of the emperor.

This may have also just applied to the sect of the Zealots, but I think that is one of the reasons many Jews hated Herod, he particpated in this cult. If I am off, please feel free to enlighten me.

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:52 pm
by mischief
Willow wrote:...And one of the sources of conflict between the Jews and the roman empire was the refusal of the Jews to pay any sort of homage or participate in events of the cult of the emperor.
...whereas the Christians were much more pragmatic: “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” and all that. I think the Romans were no fools either, and recognised a great formula for controlling the masses when they saw it, hence the widespread adoption by them of Christianity as a compulsory state religion.

I find it hard to be anything but highly dubious about religious holocausts of any sort, whether Romans over Christians or pagans, Christians over pagans (including the appalling treatment of native pagans by Christian and Muslim colonisers), or even Celtic patriachal paganism over the original Neolithic matriarchal system... When politicians acquire convenient 'religious' instruments as a means of subjugation, genuine spirituality always takes a hit, and we are all debased and disempowered as a consequence - and I think this may have been the essence of Jesus' message too, though it's hard to be sure given the numerous rewrites and distortions his teachings have been through in the last two millennia.

I think (on the basis of zero hard evidence, I accept!) that the Romans saw religion as a political tool and nothing more; I feel the same is true of most 'organised' religion since then, particularly those which make a point of acquiring a secular powerbase. Utopianism is just too easily subverted by the State for its own ends. I kinda feel too that to say 'Well, at least they gave us fresh water and some stunning architecture' is a bit like saying 'Well, at least Mussolini made the trains run on time'.

Great thread!

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:30 pm
by Kitsune
I don't think I completely agree with that idea Mischief.

For some it's very conforting to worship together. They feel whole in a way that they don't when they pray alone.

I do agree though, that whenever religion meets politics, that spirituality comes out deminished by the contact.

What's that old quote? An yes...

"Man is the only animal that laughs, and has a senate. Coincidence? I think not!"


Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:27 pm
by Crazy Healer Lady
Man is the only animal that laughs
:oops: :oops:

I do not mean to discredit that fantastic quote, but two other animals laugh, that we know of: Chimpanzees, and rats.

I'm just a nature freak... When I was a child (age 3-8), the other kids were watching Bugs Bunny and playing video games like Mario, as well - as I learned much later - as getting into drugs. I was watching National Geographic, science shows, (and Bugs Bunny), and hiking up our mountain to study our brothers and sisters first hand. Other kids had their parents build them tree forts out of plywood and nails. We made ours in blackberry bushes and secret caves!