Saturday, February 16, 2013

Did Constantine Really Convert To Christianity?

His conversion is a little sketchy to say the least. There are two versions of his conversion.  Which one should we considered to be true is the question. If you remember, Constantine supposedly had a dream where Jesus appeared to him and instructed him to use the sign of the cross to safeguard his troops in the confrontations he would have with his enemies. In both versions of this story, there is not one mention of Constantine’s need for repentance. Remember, Constantine worshiped pagan gods.

When he “converted” to Christianity, he retained, until his death, the title of Pontifex Maximus (a title Roman emperors bore as head priests of the pagan priesthood). His religious beliefs seemed to be a mixture of many different religions, including Christianity. Here are some examples of Constantine’s actions after his supposed “conversion.”
  • To commemorate a battle he supposedly won through Christ, he erected the Arch of Constantine, a triumphal arch of pagan pageantry, which is located in Rome and can still be seen today. The arch includes images of Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory. It also portrays sacrifices to gods like Apollo, Diana and Hercules. What Christian symbolism does it contain? None. If he had truly converted to Christianity, this would be one strange way of honoring God for the victory. This is evidence that Constantine continued worshiping pagan deities after his “conversion.”
  • Nine years after his “conversion,” Constantine ordered that both Christians and non-Christians alike were to observe the pagan “day of the sun.” He even had coins minted with the image of the ancient Roman sun god, Sol Invictus on one side, and included the text, “To the invisible Sun god, companion of the Emperor.”
  • Never in his reign did Constantine make Christianity the official religion.
  • Constantine had is wife, Fausta, killed in an over-heated bath and his eldest son, Crispus, put to death, supposedly for having an incestuous relationship with one another.
  • Constantine promised his brother-in-law, Licinius, mercy, all the while planning on his execution.
  • Constantine didn't get baptized until he fell deathly ill in 337AD, where he died shortly thereafter. Although he reportedly made a bargain with God to live a more Christian life, there is no record that he totally rejected paganism or that he devoted his remaining days solely to the worship of God.  
Could Constantine's experience with a godlike being have actually been a manifestation of the “prince of the power of the air?” Although there are some positive things that Constantine did, could his initial “spiritual” experience have been the enemy’s successful attempt to infiltrate the church? Whether it was a divine or demonic experience, the result was that pagan rituals and idolatry survived under Constantine’s reign, some of which still manifests itself in modern Roman Catholicism.

Note: It has been shown that the “Donation of Constantine" is a counterfeit document, so this cannot be used as evidence of Constantine’s conversion. It’s believed to have been forged near the middle of the 8th century. Remember, Constantine worshiped pagan gods.

Acknowledgements:  Photo - Arch of Constantine:

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