"Emperor Constantine appeared to him [St Bishoy/Pishoy/Paisios] in a vision, saying, "Had I known how great is the honor of monks, I would have abandoned my kingdom and became a monk." St. Bishoy told him, "You have banished the heathen worship and exalted Christianity, and has not Christ given you anything?" Emperor Constantine answered him, "The Lord has given me many gifts, but none of them is like the honor of the monks."
-Coptic Synaxarium, The Departure of St Anba BishoyCanon to the Saints of Africa (OCA)ODE 3 : verse i
When it was revealed that the Lord Jesus Christ would come to church one day,
your disciples ran ahead,
bypassing a sickly-appearing pilgrim.
Emulating the good samaritan,
O Paisius [Bishoy/Pishoy], you stopped to assist him to the church.
you saw his nail-pierced feet,
realizing that the monks had missed church,
trying to get to church.
The empire legalized, and then adopted the external teachings of christianity.
Plenty of sources from our orthodox tradition in that time period explicitly express no dependence on imperial support and the politics of Rome. How is it not idolatry to accept any dependence of the church on Empire? The church rests on the experience of the living Christ through koinonia in the Holy Spirit, which is what the monk represents to Constantine (memory eternal). And the monks themselves acknowledge the rarity for anyone to successfully watch for and apprehend Christ.
We can be greatful for certain rights and priveledges under the empire, but we can never forget how lacking and dishonorable the empire is.
Furthermore, we explicitly state that the rule of God is here with us now. All worldly rulers therefore are illegitimate.