Church and State
1. WHAT was already at work in the church in
"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work." 2 Thess.
2. What class of men did he say would arise in the church?
know this, that after my departing shall grievous
wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own
selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples
after them." Acts 20:29,30.
3. Through what experience was the church to pass, and what
develop in the church, before Christ's second coming?
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come,
except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed,
the son of perdition." 2 Thess. 2:3.
4. In what was shown the first tangible evidence of this "falling away"
from the truth of God?
The adoption of heathen rites and customs in the church.
NOTE.-"The bishops augmented the number of religious rites in the
Christian worship, by way of accommodation to the infirmities and
prejudices, both of Jews and heathen, in order to facilitate their
conversion to Christianity. . . . For this purpose they gave the name of
mysteries to the institutions of the gospel, and decorated
particularly the holy sacrament with that solemn title. They used in
that sacred institution, as also in that of baptism, several of the
terms employed in the heathen mysteries, and proceeded so far, at
length, as even to adopt some of the rites and of the ceremonies of which
those renowned mysteries consisted." - Mosheim's "Ecclesiastical History" (Maclaine's translation), cent. 2,
part 2, chap. 4, pars. 2-5.
5. How early was this tendency manifested?
"This imitation began in the eastern provinces; but, after the time of
Adrian [emperor 117-138 A.D.], who first introduced the mysteries
among the Latins, it was followed by the Christians who dwelt in the
western parts of the empire."-
Id., par. 5.
6. What has been one great characteristic of the Papacy?
A union of church and state, or the religious power dominating the
civil power to further its ends.
7. When was th union of church and state formed from which the Papacy
During the reign of Constantine, 313-337 A.D.
8. What was the character and the work of many of the bishops at that
"Worldly-minded bishops, instead of caring for the salvation of their
flocks, were often but too much inclined to travel about, and entangle
themselves in worldly concerns."-
Neander's "History of the Christian
Religion and Church" (Torrey's translation), Vol. II, page 16.
9. What did the bishops determine to do?
"This theocratical theory was already the prevailing one in the time of
Constantine; and. . . the bishops voluntarily made themselves dependent
on him by their disputes, and by their determination to make use of the
power of the state for the furtherance of their aims."- Id., page 132.
NOTE.-The "theocratical theory" was that of a government administered
by God through the church, particularly through the church bishops.
10. What was the date of Constantine's famous Sunday law?
A. D. 321.
11. When and by whom was the Council of Nice convened?
By the emperor
Constantine, 325 A. D.
12. Under what authority were its decrees published?
"The decrees. . . were published under the imperial authority,
obtained a political importance."-
Id., page 133.
13. What was one principal object in calling this council?
relating to the observance of Easter, which
was agitated in the time of Anicetus and Polycarp, and afterward in
that of Victor, was still undecided. It was one of the principal reasons
for convoking the Council of Nice, being the most important subject to
be considered after the Arian controversy."
"It appears that the churches of Syria and Mesopotamia continued to
follow the custom of the Jews, and celebrated Easter on the fourteenth
day of the moon, whether falling on Sunday or not. All the other
churches observed that solemnity on Sunday only, namely; those of Rome,
Italy, Africa, Lydia, Egypt, Spain, Gaul, and Britain; and all Greece,
Boyle's "Historical View of the Council of Nice," page 23,
14. How was the matter finally decided?
"Easter day was fixed on the Sunday immediately following the full moon
which was nearest after the vernal equinox."-
Id., page 24.
15. What was decreed by the Council of Laodicea, A.D. 364?
Christians should keep the Sunday, and that if they
persisted in resting on the Sabbath, "they shall be shut out from
Christ." See Hefele's "History of the Councils of the Church," Vol.
16. What imperial law was issued in A. D. 386?
"By a law of the year
386, those older changes effected by Constantine were more vigorously
enforced; and, in general, civil transactions of every kind on Sunday
were strictly forbidden."-
Neander's "Church History," Vol. II, page
17. What petition was made to the emperor by a church
convention of bishops in A. D. 401?
"That the public shows might be
transferred from the Christian Sunday and from the feast-days to some
other days of the week."-
desired law was secured in 425 A.D.
What was the object of the church bishops in securing
these Sunday laws?
"That the day might be devoted with less interruption to
the purposes of devotion." "That the devotion of the faithful might be
free from all disturbance."-
Id., pages 297,301.
19. How was the "devotion" of the "faithful"
"Church teachers. . . were, in truth, often forced to
complain that in such competitions the theater was vastly more
frequented than the church."-
Id., page 300.
20. What does Neander say of the securing of
"In this way the church received help from the state for the
furtherance of her ends."-
Id., page 301.
way, more perhaps than in any other, church and state were united. In
this way the church gained control of the civil power, which she later
used as a means of carrying on most bitter and extensive persecutions.
In this way she denied Christ and the power of godliness.
21. When the church had received help from the
state to this extent, what more did she demand?
That the civil power should be exerted to compel men to serve
God as the church should dictate.
22. What did Augustine, the father of this
theocratical or church-and-state theory, teach concerning it?
"Who doubts but what it is better to be led to God by
instruction than by fear of punishment or affliction? But because the
former, who will be guided only by instruction, are better, the others
are still not to be neglected. . . . Many, like bad servants, must often
be reclaimed to their Master by the rod of temporal suffering, ere they
can attain to this highest stage of religious development."-
Id., pages 214,215.
is Neander's conclusion regarding this theory?
"It was by
Augustine, then, that a theory was proposed and founded, which, tempered
though it was, in its practical application, by his own pious,
philanthropic spirit, nevertheless contained the germ of that whole
system of spiritual despotism, of intolerance and persecution, which
ended in the tribunals of the Inquisition." "He did not give precedence
to the question, What is right? over the question, What is
expedient? But a theory which overlooks these distinctions leaves
room for any despotism which would make holy ends a pretext for the use
of unholy means."-
Id., pages 217,249,250.
thus that the union of church and state was formed, out of which was
developed "the beast," or Papacy, of the Apocalypse, which made "war
with the saints" and overcame them. A like course cannot fail to produce
like results today. Dr. Philip Schaff, in his work on "Church and
State," page 11, well says: "Secular power has proved a satanic gift to
the church, and ecclesiastical power has proved an engine of tyranny in
the hands of the state."
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