The Church Founders
Chapter 14

 

Until 1054 AD Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism were branches of the same body the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Divisions between these two branches of Christendom had long existed and were constantly increasing. The widening schism was caused by a mix of cultural, political, and religious differences. In 1054 AD a formal split occurred when Pope Leo IX, Head of the Roman Branch excommunicated the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius Leader of the Eastern branch, who in turn condemned the pope in mutual excommunication. The churches remain divided and separate to the present date.

In 330 AD Emperor Constantine decided to move the capital of the Roman Empire to the city of Byzantium, modern-day Turkey and called it Constantinople. When he died his two sons divided their rule, one taking the Eastern portion of the empire and ruling from Constantinople and the other taking the western portion, ruling from Rome.

In 324 AD Constantine became sole ruler of the Roman Empire, reuniting an empire that had been split among rival rulers since the retirement of Domitian in 305. Constantine, the first Christian emperor, reunified the empire but found the Church bitterly divided over the nature of Jesus. He wanted to reunify the Church as he had reunified the Empire. The major dispute was over the teaching of Arius, but there were other doctrinal issues also.

Arianism: teaching of Arius of Alexandria, who believed that Jesus was created ex Nihilo (out of nothing) by the Father to be the means of creation and redemption. Jesus was fully human, but not fully divine. He was elevated as a reward for his accomplishment of his mission. The Arian rallying cry was “There was a time when the Son was not.” Monarchianism: defended the unity (mono Arche, “One source”) of God by denying that the Son and the Spirit were separate persons. Sabellianism: a form of Monarchianism taught by Sabellias, that God revealed himself in three successive modes, as Father (creator), as Son (redeemer), as Spirit (sustainer). Hence there is only one person in the Godhead. Constantine summoned the bishops at imperial expense to Nicaea, 30 miles from his imperial capital in Nicomedia. Here they were to settle their differences in a council over which he presided. The council rejected Arianism. The Council issued a creed based upon an existing baptismal creed from Syria and Palestine.

This Nicene creed reads: "We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, only begotten, that is, from the substance of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, Begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father through Whom all things were made."

Who for us men and for our salvation came down and became incarnate, and was made man, suffered and rose on the third day, and ascended into heaven, and is coming with glory to judge living and dead, and in the Holy Spirit.

Those who say, There was a time when the Son of God was not, and before he was begotten, he was not, and that he came into being from things that are not, or that he is of a different Hypostasisor substance, or that he is mutable or alterable, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes.

The second council met in Constantinople, the new imperial capital. The council issued a new creed, based upon another baptismal creed from Antioch, which in turn was an expression of the faith expressed in the Nicene Creed adopted in 325 AD.

Later the Western Church unilaterally added a single word to the Creed, inserting Filioque “and the Son” to the statement about the Spirit, to read “the Spirit...proceeds from the Father and the Son.” In 867 the Patriarch of Constantinople declared Rome heretical for this clause. To this day the Western Church (Catholic and Protestant) accepts the Filioque clause, while the Eastern Church (Orthodox) does not. The Exception being this clause, the Nicene Creed remains one of the ecumenical creeds, a creed recognized by all the Church. Any church that rejects the Nicene Creed is deemed heretical. During the Middle Ages this creed became called the Nicene Creed, as it is known to this day.

The death of Peter at Rome is legendary, as all the ancient records of the Roman bishops which have been handed down by Irenaeus, Julius Africanus, Hippolytus, Eusebius, also the Liberian catalogue of 354, place the name of Linus directly after that of the Peter. Linus's term of office, according to the papal lists, lasted twelve years, the second successor of Peter. Whether he was the same as Cletus, who is also called Anencletus as well as Anacletus, has been the subject of endless discussion. Irenaeus, Eusebius, Augustine, Optatus, use both names indifferently as of one person. Tertullian omits him altogether. To add to the confusion, the order is different. Thus Irenaeus has Linus, Anacletus, Clement; whereas Augustine and Optatus put Clement before Anacletus. Pope Clement I (called CLEMENS ROMANUS to distinguish him from the Alexandrian), is the first of the successors of Peter of whom anything definite is known, and he is the first of the so-called Apostolic fathers.

This was said by Martin Luther at Worms in 1521 while still a Catholic priest. "No enlightened Catholic holds the pope's infallibility to be an article of faith". Some religionists today advocate that man is saved by faith only. However, there is only one passage in the entire Bible that has the words "faith" and "only" together and it says, "not by faith only" (James 2:24). The Catholics today speak of the Pope as vicar, taking the place of God (Christ Himself is God, Matt. 1:23; John 1:1), yet there is only one passage in the entire Bible which speaks of a man doing such and it calls him "the man of sin."

Born in Eisleben, Germany, in 1483, Martin Luther went on to become one of the Christian Church most significant figures. Luther spent his early years in relative anonymity as a monk and scholar. In 1517 Luther penned a document attacking the Catholic Church's corrupt practice of selling "indulgences" to absolve sin. 

His 95 Theses, which propounded two central beliefs—that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds, was to spark the Protestant Reformation. Although these ideas had been advanced before, Martin Luther codified them. The Catholic Church was ever after divided, and the Protestant movement that soon emerged was shaped by Luther's ideas.

On November 9, 1518, the pope condemned Luther's writings as conflicting with the teachings of the Church. One year later a series of commissions were convened to examine Luther's teachings. The first papal commission found them to be heretical, but the second merely stated that Luther's writings were "scandalous and offensive to pious ears." Finally, in July 1520 Pope Leo X issued a papal bull that concluded that Luther's propositions were heretical and gave Luther 120 days to recant in Rome. Luther refused to recant, and on January 3, 1521, ace, Pope Leo excommunicated Martin Luther from the Catholic Church.

On April 17, 1521, Luther appeared before the Diet of Worms in Germany. Refusing again to recant, Luther concluded his testimony with the defiant statement: “Here I stand. God help me. I can do no other.” On May 25, the Holy Roman emperor Charles V signed an edict against Luther, ordering his writings to be burned. Luther hid in the town of Eisenach for the next year, where he began work on one of his major life projects, the translation of the New Testament into German, which took him 10 years to complete.

King Henry VIII (1491-1547) ruled England for 36 years, that brought his nation into the Protestant Reformation. He married six wives. His desire to annul his first marriage without papal approval led to the creation of a separate Church of England. Of his marriages, two ended in annulment, two in natural deaths and two with his wives' beheadings for adultery and treason. His children Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I would each take their turn as England's monarch. Henry the VIII took the throne at the age of seventeen and married Catherine of Aragon. The next fifteen years he spent in wars with France, while Catherine born him three sons and three daughters, all but one died in infancy for some strange reason, the sole survivor was Mary whom was born in the year of 1516. King Henry the VIII earned the title 'Defender of the Faith' from Pope Leo X, after he issued a book attacking Martin Luther. Then his life changed after his illegitimate son, Henry Fritz-Roy was born in 1519.

Henry the VIII dissolves his marriage and splits from the Church, because the papal rebuffed his annulment so he would be free to remarry Anne Boleyn, and with backing from the English parliament and clergy, Henry the VIII decided he did not need the pope to rule on issues affection the Church of England. So in 1533 Henry the VIII married Anne Boleyn and a daughter was produced from this marriage her name being Elizabeth. While Mary was declared illegitimate and Elizabeth named his heir. He then sold off England's monasteries and add the wealth to his estate. 

In 1536 Henry the VIII lost his son from Anne due in part to a stillborn death, he then fell in love with Jane Seymour and within six months he executed Anne and married Jane, who gave him a son who died two weeks later under questionable reasons. he then married Anne of Cleve's but the marriage only lasted three days before he annulled that marriage and then married Catherine Howard, but she was beheaded in less than two years for adultery but that was not true ether yet the charges were use to annul that marriage. After he married the widow Catherine Parr in 1543 he restored the line of succession to Elizabeth and reconciliation was received with Mary her mother.

Henry the VIII died at the age of 56, in 1547, his then son of nine Edward the sixth succeeded him as King but he then died of questionable reasons six years later. Mary the first use her reign of England to steer the country back into the Catholic fold, but when Elizabeth the first took over she use her reign to re-entrench her father's religious reforms. (Elizabeth I, had the longest reign of the Tudor monarchs) Elizabeth I, became known as the Virgin Queen, and ruled during a period when England became a major power in the world. Mary I, became England's first female monarch, she ruled for five years and was called Bloody Mary because of the way she killed so many Protestants of England.

The next big date is 1555 and we can look to and at the lesson called; English C Lessons Number One.