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History, Mythology/Religion

The Many Councils of Christ: How Christianity was Created in Closed-door Meetings

Christianity was created and defined by men in closed-door meetings. Below is a chronology of some important Councils which gave us the version of Christianity that we know today:

Council of Elvira (304) was the first written mandate requiring priests to be celibate. It also made laws with maintained the separation of Jews and Christians. E.g. Christians cannot marry or share meals with Jews. Jews cannot bless Christian crops, etc. etc.

First Council of Nicaea (325) repudiated Arianism, declared that Christ is “homoousios with the Father” (of the same substance as the Father), adopted the original Nicene Creed, fixed Easter date and rejected a ban on priests marrying.

These pesky Arians logically believed that Jesus and the Father are separate entities, where the Father made the Son. The Arians appealed to scripture, quoting verses such as John 14:28: “the Father is greater than I”, and also Colossians 1:15: “Firstborn of all creation.”

The counter argument quoted scriptures such as: “I and the Father are one”; John 10:30 and “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me”; John 17:21.

Apparently, neither Jesus nor God understood their exact relationship, hence man voted and decided for them!

This is where we get the idea that Christ is “begotten, not made”, asserting that he was not a mere creature, brought into being out of nothing, but the true Son of God, brought into being “from the substance of the Father”

The Easter date arrangement was basically just a plot to separate themselves from the Jews. Christians thought their calendar was flawed and decided to create their own.

The Nicene creed is just some weird document that codified these decisions plus added a few interesting things such as worshiping ghosts and stuff.

Not content with the Arians that were still hanging around and a slew of other discrepancies regarding the nature of Christ, Christians decided to create another council to refine Christianity.

First Council of Constantinople (381) repudiated Arianism (again) and Macedonianism (these people apparently did no agree with the idea of worshiping ghosts), declared that Christ is “born of the Father before all time”, revised the Nicene Creed in regard to the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary.

Council of Ephesus (431) repudiated Nestorianism, proclaimed the Virgin Mary as the Theotokos (“Birth-giver to God”, “God-bearer”, “Mother of God”), repudiated Pelagianism, and reaffirmed the Nicene Creed (for a third time).

A brief definition of Nestorian Christology can be given as: “Jesus Christ, who is not identical with the Son but personally united with the Son, who lives in him, is one hypostasis and one nature: human.”

Pelagianism is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without special Divine aid. This, of course, didn’t make any sense because in the Christian mind, we are all sinners.

Council of Chalcedon (451) repudiated monophysitism, adopted the Chalcedonian Creed, which described the hypostatic union of the two natures of Christ, human and divine. Monophysites believed that the two natures can be combined into a single and separate nature. As you can see, it’s been almost 500 years since Christ’s death and no one still has any idea who or what Jesus was.

There was a quick change of the guard, some people were deposed for their views and replaced with friends. Politics as usual.

Second Council of Constantinople (553) was called to resolve the same conflict now running a few hundred years. The purpose was to make plain the hypostatic union of Christ as two natures, one divine and one human, united in one person with neither confusion nor division. All other views are heretical (god-dammit!).

The Virgin Mary could not be called the Mother of God (theotokos) but only the mother of Christ (Christotokos) — which was apparently OK at the ecumenical council of Ephesus in 431, but not anymore.

Third Council of Constantinople (680–681) now said that Christ had 2 energies (they couldn’t define this) and 2 wills (divine and human). They rejected those wacky ideas of Monothelitism and Monoenergism which said the while Christ had 2 energies, he only 1 will. They burned for this heresy!

Second Council of Nicaea (787) restored the veneration of icons (condemned at the Council of Hieria, 754) and repudiated iconoclasm (to oppose religious images).

There is an interesting theory on why the Eastern church moved in and out of the veneration of icons. The Muslems were extraordinarily successful in almost everything they did. They, of course, forbade religious imagery. The Eastern Church noticed and implemented the same practice, much to the dismay of the western church and it’s wealthier members.

As you can see, we’re now running at almost 900 years just to decide what Christ really was. The key word is “decide”, for it was human beings that gave the definition of Christ to the world.

Now, there are a few dozen more of these meetings before we get to the present, but I’ll just cover the more important ones. Most of them have to do with land grabs, excommunication of political rivals, power, etc. What else is religion good for?

First Council of the Lateran (1123) is particularly interesting. It sought to consolidate church power within religious authorities only. The Holy Roman Emperor or any other secular institution shall no longer have a say in the Church.

Also, Clerics in major orders may not marry, and marriages already contracted must be dissolved (remember the Council of Elvira in 304?). This law is still followed my many priests today. It was revived to avoid inheritance claims to property or money by a priests’s spouse or child. Business as usual…

Second Council of the Lateran (1139) asked bishops and other holy man to dress modestly and to not cause a scandal by wearing ostentatious clothes. As you can see by the Pope’s gold hat, designer shoes, and gold staff, this obviously does not apply to him.

Third Council of the Lateran (1179) restricted papal election to the cardinals with a 2/3 vote. Of note: This is why Popes like to appoint as many cardinals as they can during their reign, so that they would vote for a Pope with similar views once the current Pope leaves office.

Interestingly enough, it forbade the charging of money to conduct burials, bless a marriage or indeed the celebration of any of the sacraments. Try going to a church now to perform any of these for free. They will literally show you the door.

In addition, it forbade the church from being taxed without the consent of…wait for it…the church!!!

Another gem in this council was the excommunication of those who engage in usury (the charging of interest on loans). For better or for worse, this forced banking activities into the hands of Jews.

Fourth Council of the Lateran (1215) was known as the “Great Council”. It said that the bread and wine in mass was literally the body and blood of Christ, a.k.a. Transubstantiation. It is NOT merely a sign or a figure.

Every Christian must confess at least once a year and ordered Jews and Muslims to wear a special dress to enable them to be distinguished from Christians. How nice of them!

First Council of Lyon (1245) asked cardinals to wear those silly red hats.

Second Council of Lyon (1274) attempted to end the Great Schism and reunite the Western and Eastern churches. It didn’t work.

Council of Vienne (1311–1312) disbanded the Knights Templar created in the First Crusade in 1096. They were making too much money and holding too much land in the eyes of a few important people.

Interestingly, there were a number Popes holding office at the same time. They’ve been fighting for years and would continue fighting for another hundred or so years until there was only 1…like a twisted episode of Highlander, only much more bloody. You would think that if they could actually communicate with God this wouldn’t be an issue. Sadly, none can speak to God. Instead, they profess to speak to God to attain power. What other reason can you possibly have for the schism?

In 1302, Pope Boniface VIII’s arrogance reached megalomaniac heights. He issued a bill, entitled “Unam Sanctum”, in which he made the most imperiously possible claim to being superior to all Christian rulers, and to be, in effect, ruler of the Earth, responsible only to God!

Council of Basel, Ferrara and Florence (1431–1445) echoed this master of the world mentality by clarifying for the world the dogma of papal supremacy:

“We likewise define that the holy Apostolic See, and the Roman Pontiff, hold the primacy throughout the entire world; and that the Roman Pontiff himself is the successor of blessed Peter, the chief of the Apostles, and the true vicar of Christ, and that he is the head of the entire Church, and the father and teacher of all Christians; and that full power was given to him in blessed Peter by our Lord Jesus Christ, to feed, rule, and govern the universal Church.”

Fifth Council of the Lateran (1512–1517) required the approval of the local bishop before a book could be printed.

Council of Trent (1545–63) repudiated Protestants (which didn’t lead to thousands and thousands dead during Europe’s wars of religion from 1524-1648).

This council also defined Church teachings in the areas of Scripture and Tradition, Original Sin, Justification, Sacraments, the Eucharist in Holy Mass and the veneration of saints. In all, 17 dogmatic decrees came out of this council. Basically everything we know about the Catholic religion today was finalized at this council.

First Council of the Vatican (1870) made the Pope infallible, meaning that he can never be wrong! The audacity of the Church has no bounds.

Luckily for us, this Council was cut short when the Italian Army entered the city of Rome at the end of Italian unification. Who know’s what other crazy things would come out of this meeting.

Second Council of the Vatican (1962–1965) was a response to the modern world that was quickly leaving the Church behind. In business, if you you don’t adapt to your new environment, you will soon find yourself out of business. The Church recognized this right away and made some adjustments.

The Council decided to allow the Liturgy to be conducted in whatever language the practitioners spoke. Mass can now be conducted in languages other then Latin.

To their credit, they FINALLY saw to it that the Jews were no longer blamed for the death of Christ. It had only been 2,000 or so years overdue.

Also, in an unusual humanitarian gesture, it proclaimed that “Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities of extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God and man himself. It merits unequivocal and unhesitating condemnation.”

After almost 2,000 years of internal fighting, they finally decided that killing and destroying is wrong. Hallelujah!!!

As you can see, everything we know about Christianity was decided in meetings by men. From the nature of Christ himself to the way you should worship him. From the words you recite during prayer to the Eucharist in Holy Mass. From Mother Mary’s status to original sin.

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, was decided in a meeting by very mortal and very flawed men!

The Christian Church is a complete fraud.

Thanks,

About elpidiovaldes

Human, All Too Human.

Discussion

11 thoughts on “The Many Councils of Christ: How Christianity was Created in Closed-door Meetings

  1. I totally agree and will go even further. ALL religions were created by human beings to control other human beings for power and wealth. Period.

    There is a God, or Creator of the Universe for I can see no other explanation for why we are here.

    Posted by yourothermotherhere | July 6, 2013, 16:21
    • Thank you for your comment. If we look at Religion in terms of Mythology, then we start to see a bigger picture. While it is certainly true that Religion is used to control human beings, its foundations are more noble.

      I think Joseph Campbell put it best. Religion/Mythology has 4 essential functions:

      1. The first function of mythology is to evoke in the individual a sense of grateful, affirmative awe before the monstrous mystery that is existence

      2. The second function of mythology is to present an image of the cosmos, an image of the universe round about, that will maintain and elicit this experience of awe. Or to present an image of the cosmos that will maintain your sense of mystical awe and explain everything that you come into contact with in the universe around you.

      3. The third function of a mythological order is to validate and maintain a certain sociological system: a shared set of rights and wrongs, proprieties or improprieties, on which your particular social unit depends for its existence.

      4. The fourth function of myth is psychological. That myth must carry the individual through the stages of his life, from birth through maturity through senility to death. The mythology must do so in accords with the social order of his group, the cosmos as understood by his group, and the monstrous mystery

      Modern-day religions have long since stopped serving these functions. Sadly, your point is very valid. It has become all about power and wealth.

      On your next point, I wouldn’t take it as far as saying that there must be a God just because I cannot personally conceive of an explanation. That’s not scientific nor is it fair to the other religions who have interesting thoughts on this topic. Please see Jainism to learn how a religion works without a need for a God or Creator story.

      Certainly, If I don’t down something that doesn’t mean that I must fill that gap with the notion of God, which is unknowable to begin with. See how that works?

      Thanks,

      Posted by elpidiovaldes | July 7, 2013, 15:15
      • To simplify, mythology is a label given to human beings explaining what they did not understand. Religion was just the addition of control, that is, if you don’t do what I say, then we will kill you in the name of our god(s).

        You may not say there is a God because you can’t conceive of an explanation and I understand and respect that point of view because who am I to tell someone else what to believe? I believe because in my limited intellectual capacity, I cannot see any other logical reason for the Universe.

        Posted by yourothermotherhere | July 7, 2013, 15:37
      • I think now we’re diving into world of existentialism. I would have to ask why assume that there is a logical reason for the Universe?

        A long time ago I read the works of Albert Camus. He was a contemporary of Jean-Paul Sartre. Camus had a very interesting philosophy called Absurdism. Essentially, the philosophy, “the Absurd” refers to the conflict between the human tendency to seek inherent value and meaning in life and the human inability to find any.

        In the end, it borders a bit on Nihilism but with an interesting twist. He says that life itself is absurd and to live it is to rebel at its absurdity. We are all revolutionaries in the game of life.

        It’s a rather interesting concept, isn’t it?

        Posted by elpidiovaldes | July 7, 2013, 19:42
      • All I can do here is repeat. I’ve been studying religion for a long, long time because I want to find out things for myself. I stand by my words.

        Posted by yourothermotherhere | July 8, 2013, 00:08
  2. The version of Christianity that I follow today is based on the Word of God which is the Bible that was completed in 95 AD. The Bible is all I need to know regarding authoritative Christian teaching. It was recorded by the Apostles whom gave first hand accounts of their encounters with Jesus. In this same spirit the true church is invisible, non-denominational, and very large.

    Posted by youngearth | July 6, 2013, 21:29
    • You’re joking, right? Let me help you out, please pay attention:

      Not only did Jesus himself write absolutely nothing, but the authors of the gospels are roughly at least one generation removed from the original eyewitnesses. They did not reside in Palestine and had no firsthand acquaintance with the events they describe.

      The one gospel for which the strongest case can be made that it was written by the man whose name it bears, Luke, acknowledges that its author was not himself an eyewitness of the events he portrays (Luke 1:1-2).

      Then there is the small problem of the numerous Christian Councils who in the span of 2,000 years fought over what should or should not be included in the NT and the teachings of Jesus. These arbitrary decision made by mortal and very flawed men told you which Apostles to read.

      To make your position even worse, all other historical records of the time are silent about the life of Jesus. The brief mentions of Jesus in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius have been generally regarded as not genuine and as Christian interpolations.

      In other words, there is no contemporaneous evidence outside of the New Testament to attest to Christ’s advent and ministry – or even his existence.

      The silence is singularly outstanding, in consideration of the repeated assertions in the gospels that Christ was famed far and wide, causing a fracas with the local and imperial authorities, and, upon his death, creating astonishing and awesome miracles and wonders the world had never seen before, including not only an earthquake and the darkening of the sun and moon, but also dead people rising from their graves and visiting people in town! (Matthew 27:50-53) – Can you say “night of the living dead”!?

      These “great crowds” and “multitudes”, along with Jesus’s fame, are repeatedly referred to in the gospels, including in the following:

      Matthew 4:23-45, 5:1, 8:1, 8:18, 9:8, 9:31, 9:33, 9:36, 11:7, 12:15, 13:2, 14:1, 14:13, 14:22, 15:30, 19:2, 21:9, 26:55
      Mark 1:28, 10:1…etc
      Luke 4:14, 4:37, 5:15, 14:25…etc
      1 Corinthians 15:3-7

      One would think that if all these things happened, someone somewhere would have written about them or otherwise recorded them for prosperity. But, inspecting the literary, historical and archaeological record of the time produces nothing. The dearth of evidence is not for want of suitable reporters, as during the first century the following historians and writers depicted life in and around the Mediterranean, including in some of the very places that Jesus and his disciples purportedly move about:

      Aulus Perseus (60 CE)
      Columella (1st cent. CE)
      Dio Chrysostom (c. 40 – 112 CE)
      Justus of Tiberius (c. 80 CE)
      Livy (59 BCE – 17 CE)
      Lucanus (fl. 63 CE)
      Lucius Florus (1st – 2nd cent. CE)
      Petronius (d. 66 CE)
      Phaedrus (c. 15 BCE – 50 CE)
      Philo Judaeus (20 BCE – 50 CE)
      Phlegon (1st cent. CE)
      Pliny the Elder (23 – 69 CE) Plutarch (c. 46 – 119 CE)
      Pomponius Mela (40 CE)
      Rufus Curtius (1st cent. CE)
      Quintilian (c. 35 – 100 CE)
      Quintus Curtius (1st cent. CE)
      Seneca (1 BCE – 65 CE)
      Silius Italicus (c. 25 – 101 CE)
      Statius Caelicius (1st cent. CE)
      Theon of Smyrna (c. 70 – 135 CE)
      Valerius Flaccus (1st cent. CE)
      Valerius Maximus (fl. c. 20 CE)

      Oddly enough, not one of these writers recorded any of the amazing and earth-shaking events reported in the gospels, even though this period was one of the best documented in history and although some of these authors lived or traveled in the same small area in which the gospel story was set. Neither Jesus nor his disciples are mentioned by any of them – not a word about Christ, Christianity or Christians!

      Just for fun, let’s bring in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Scrolls appear to be the library of a Jewish sect and was hidden away in caves around the outbreak of the First Jewish Revolt (66-70 CE). They were most likely written by the Essenes during the period from about 200 BCE to 68 CE and none of the scrolls found to date refer to Jesus, nor do they mention any of His follower’s described in the New Testament.

      Sorry my friend, there is no easy way to put this, but it’s all a lie. I recommend that you read some Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and other scholars in the field of comparative region to get a better sense of what really happened.

      Thanks,

      Posted by elpidiovaldes | July 7, 2013, 14:50
  3. The oldest complete Codex of the New Testament dates to the fourth century. However there are older fragments of scripture that confirm the authenticity of the Codex. Christianity started small in Israel and afterwards grew large throughout the Roman empire. The last book Revelation was written in 95 AD to which there is sufficient evidence.
    The people and places described in the New Testament are also corroborated from archeological findings. Likewise Christians were persecuted around 64-68 AD by emperor Nero who blamed Christians after he burned down the city. The Roman Catacombs stand as a monument to these early Christian persecutions. Many of these crowds to which you refer became Christians. These people revered, followed, and spread the teaching of the original Apostles.

    Posted by youngearth | July 7, 2013, 18:35
    • Thanks for the history lesson; however, you failed to answer any of the points in my response to your original comment. Unless you can provide some insight into the points below, I’m afraid your religion has nothing to stand on:

      1) Authors of the gospels are roughly at least one generation removed from the original eyewitnesses. They did not reside in Palestine and had no firsthand acquaintance with the events they describe.

      2) Authors of the NT were hand selected by a group of men. Thomas, Philip, James and others were deliberately left out. Why?

      3) The brief mentions of Jesus in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius have been generally regarded as not genuine and as Christian interpolations. There is actually zero literary evidence for the existence of Jesus.

      4) The silence of the Dead Sea Scrolls on Jesus and his ministry. Why?

      5) The odd silence of basically every historian in the Mediterranean which lived around Jesus’s time. Why?

      Jesus is a myth. On the contrary to your claim, the literary, historical and archaeological record of the time produces nothing.

      We do have an abundance of evidence supporting the mythical evolution of Jesus. Virtually every detail in the gospel stories occurred in pagan and/or Hebrew stories, long before the advent of Christianity. We simply do not have a shred of evidence to determine the historicity of a Jesus “the Christ.” We only have evidence for the belief of Jesus and the Christian religion, but nothing on Jesus himself and his followers.

      If you’re going to being me fragments that say some Messianic savior really existed and present it as proof, then I can easily bring you all the Greek, Vedic, Roman, Persian and other non-Christian texts that describe their saviors and call it evidence. I will gladly regard your claim as evidence if you would give the same level of attention to Hercules et al.

      Thanks,

      Posted by elpidiovaldes | July 7, 2013, 19:25
  4. Why how and who came up with jesus myth? Was paul a real person and if so why did he come up with jesus myth and road to damascus experience? Is anything real in gospel accounts that you observe?

    Posted by Sith | September 11, 2013, 13:19
    • Sith,

      The ‘Why, How and Who’ questions regarding religion are some of the most important questions anyone can ask. Anyone who says that they have the answers is outright lying.

      You’re questions on Paul are well founded. Did he exist? Most likely. Did he write all that stuff? Not likely. Of the 13 books that bear Paul’s name, only half are widely considered authentic, while the authorship of the other half is highly disputed. My personal belief is that, in the face of the much larger questions, Paul, nor any of the other Apostles, doesn’t matter.

      Christianity, and all other religions, have to be approached from a scientific and objective perspective. Once you disproved or dismiss all the unscientific claims which act as the foundations of said religion, everything else becomes trivial and philosophical in nature. One can argue all day long about Paul or any other person(s) in the holy books and it won’t change a thing. The foundations are simply not.

      Is anything real in gospel accounts? Yes, of course! The Gospels along with the books of the Old Testament are quasi-fiction based on some very biased history, but history nonetheless. There are glimmers of very interesting truths in all holy books which give depth into the time, place and beliefs of a given society.

      I highly recommend the works of Joseph Campbell for a good review on how myth, history and sociology come together to give us this thing know as religion. I’m sure you can watch “The Power of Myth” wit Bill Moyers on the Web.

      Thanks,

      Posted by elpidiovaldes | September 20, 2013, 13:02

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