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Offline Incognito777

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Why is Constantine a Saint?
« on: February 24, 2015, 04:03:46 AM »
Hello,

I do not wish to scandalize anyone with this question. I am Orthodox, but I have never understood why we consider Constantine a saint. I see no evidence that he ever became holy. Someone is not a saint because you like them, or because they are rich, or because they are a ruler. God does not think like human beings, nor does he cater to human passions and vanity. Does God have two categories and sections of saints in Heaven? Those who were exceptionally holy, and another place for people who were called saints, but actually never became holy, but got to be called saints because they were wealthy or rulers?

 When it comes to Constantine, I don't see good enough evidence that he believed in Orthodoxy, and that he became holy. John Wesley said that the Apostle Paul was portraying "...that fatal period when the Emperor Constantine called himself a Christian; From this time onward - the Christians had no more of the Spirit of Christ than the heathens...." (Wesley's Works, vol 7, Sermon 89, pp. 26-27).

I will present my case for why it is difficult for me accept Constantine as a saint.

In Eusebius' Life of the Emperor Constantine, he suppressed all that was negative in Constantine's person and politics. So obviously there were negative aspects in his life. I think the Orthodox have always suppressed negative elements in the saints. The finished product is a super-human demi-god, who's example and standards are impossible to live-up to, so this leads to unnecessary guilt, bondage and fear.

Constantine allowed the existence of pagan temples in the empire even after his alleged conversion to Christianity. I submit that no saint would ever do such a thing. In his Youtube lecture, Professor Schneider of St. Vladimir's Seminary even admitted that a decade after Constatine's alleged conversion, he allowed the existence of the Eleusinian Mystery cult to exist in the empire; and that he continued to use pagan coins with the inscription "Jupiter the preserver of the Empire" (However, Schneider did not mention the fact that Constantine eventually removed the pagan coinage). This is idolatry and utterly blasphemous. I submit that no saint of God would ever do such a thing. Professor Schneider said that Constantine was more interested in peace for the empire. So, it makes sense to me that his recognition of Christianity was political and ideological. I believe old Rome was influenced by pagan and Hindu culture and concepts, since there were exchanges of ideas and customs between these lands. The Vedic culture worshiped their monarchs and considered them divine, as did the Roman empire. Since worshiping Constantine would have been too obviously blasphemous for Christians, they deified him instead and called him a saint. I think this is a political strategy (the Orthodox have always been extremely political and ideological because they don't trust God, so they take matters into their own hands). I believe it's the same energy and mentality of those who want to make Stalin and Hitler saints. The Orthodox have always been about promoting culture, nation and country. I believe country is more important to many Orthodox people than Christianity.

If we apply the unbiased logical principle of Occam's Razor (all things being equal, the simplest explanation tend to be the right one), it seems more likely to me that the veneration/deification of Constantine is rooted in the Hindu Vedic practice of deifying monarchs. There was a lot of exchange of ideas between these cultures in antiquity. I think it is more likely that the deification of Constantine is ultimately rooted in paganism.

Lecture   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5xLNgzoAow (especially after 16 and 26 minutes).

« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 04:06:07 AM by Incognito777 »

Offline OrthoNoob

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2015, 04:05:38 AM »
There's nothing worse than a witch hunter rooting through Christian history trying to identify and destroy 'pagan' elements -- as if we were all supposed to be Jews.
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Offline Incognito777

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2015, 04:09:00 AM »
There's nothing worse than a witch hunter rooting through Christian history trying to identify and destroy 'pagan' elements -- as if we were all supposed to be Jews.

Ad Hominem Fallacy against me, and you questioned my motives (Appeal to Motive Fallacy). Engage the arguments or remain silent. We don't need people using Loaded Language and Poisoning the Well.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 04:11:05 AM by Incognito777 »

Offline Incognito777

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2015, 04:16:57 AM »
I submit that no saint of God would ever allow paganism to exist in his empire.

Also, what's this thing about divergent customs pertaining to baptism? There was a time when it was the custom to baptize infants, and then another time when it was the custom to baptize later in life. Constantine belonged to the latter school of thought. Did God change his mind? Doesn't the fact there were contradictions in the tradition imply a man-made element? It seems like a trial and error/bottom-up approach, as opposed to top down. Like they were "feeling" their way through history and experimenting, like they really didn't know what they were doing.

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2015, 06:19:22 AM »
I submit that no saint of God would ever allow paganism to exist in his empire.

Also, what's this thing about divergent customs pertaining to baptism? There was a time when it was the custom to baptize infants, and then another time when it was the custom to baptize later in life. Constantine belonged to the latter school of thought. Did God change his mind? Doesn't the fact there were contradictions in the tradition imply a man-made element? It seems like a trial and error/bottom-up approach, as opposed to top down. Like they were "feeling" their way through history and experimenting, like they really didn't know what they were doing.

You're forgetting that the might of the Roman Empire systematically and often brutally persecuted Christians for more than 300 years before Constantine came along. You can hardly expect strictness of practice under such conditions.

You say you're Orthodox? So why are you getting your church teachings from non-Orthodox sources?
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2015, 10:18:21 AM »
YiM should be here in 3...2...1...
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Offline JoeS2

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2015, 10:47:09 AM »
Hello,

I do not wish to scandalize anyone with this question. I am Orthodox, but I have never understood why we consider Constantine a saint. I see no evidence that he ever became holy. Someone is not a saint because you like them, or because they are rich, or because they are a ruler. God does not think like human beings, nor does he cater to human passions and vanity. Does God have two categories and sections of saints in Heaven? Those who were exceptionally holy, and another place for people who were called saints, but actually never became holy, but got to be called saints because they were wealthy or rulers?

 When it comes to Constantine, I don't see good enough evidence that he believed in Orthodoxy, and that he became holy. John Wesley said that the Apostle Paul was portraying "...that fatal period when the Emperor Constantine called himself a Christian; From this time onward - the Christians had no more of the Spirit of Christ than the heathens...." (Wesley's Works, vol 7, Sermon 89, pp. 26-27).

I will present my case for why it is difficult for me accept Constantine as a saint.

In Eusebius' Life of the Emperor Constantine, he suppressed all that was negative in Constantine's person and politics. So obviously there were negative aspects in his life. I think the Orthodox have always suppressed negative elements in the saints. The finished product is a super-human demi-god, who's example and standards are impossible to live-up to, so this leads to unnecessary guilt, bondage and fear.

Constantine allowed the existence of pagan temples in the empire even after his alleged conversion to Christianity. I submit that no saint would ever do such a thing. In his Youtube lecture, Professor Schneider of St. Vladimir's Seminary even admitted that a decade after Constatine's alleged conversion, he allowed the existence of the Eleusinian Mystery cult to exist in the empire; and that he continued to use pagan coins with the inscription "Jupiter the preserver of the Empire" (However, Schneider did not mention the fact that Constantine eventually removed the pagan coinage). This is idolatry and utterly blasphemous. I submit that no saint of God would ever do such a thing. Professor Schneider said that Constantine was more interested in peace for the empire. So, it makes sense to me that his recognition of Christianity was political and ideological. I believe old Rome was influenced by pagan and Hindu culture and concepts, since there were exchanges of ideas and customs between these lands. The Vedic culture worshiped their monarchs and considered them divine, as did the Roman empire. Since worshiping Constantine would have been too obviously blasphemous for Christians, they deified him instead and called him a saint. I think this is a political strategy (the Orthodox have always been extremely political and ideological because they don't trust God, so they take matters into their own hands). I believe it's the same energy and mentality of those who want to make Stalin and Hitler saints. The Orthodox have always been about promoting culture, nation and country. I believe country is more important to many Orthodox people than Christianity.

If we apply the unbiased logical principle of Occam's Razor (all things being equal, the simplest explanation tend to be the right one), it seems more likely to me that the veneration/deification of Constantine is rooted in the Hindu Vedic practice of deifying monarchs. There was a lot of exchange of ideas between these cultures in antiquity. I think it is more likely that the deification of Constantine is ultimately rooted in paganism.

Lecture   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5xLNgzoAow (especially after 16 and 26 minutes).

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2731

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2015, 11:28:48 AM »
I don't think it would have been possible for St. Constantine to go on a pagan temple-destroying spree without plunging the Empire into a greater chaos than it was in before he came to power. You act as though being the ruler of a huge nation is easy.

But regardless of what he did or didn't do, I really don't think the Orthodox view is that a Saint has to have been a superior Christian during life. David, Solomon, and the Patriarchs certainly caused enough problems throughout their lives yet are all Saints (2 Chronicles 33:1-16 is also highly relevant).

One of my favorite Orthodox Saints is a guy we don't even know the name of:

Quote
This monk died joyfully because he had never in his life condemned anyone. He was lazy, careless, disinclined to prayer, but throughout his entire life he had never judged anyone. And when he lay dying, he was full of joy. The brethren asked him how he could die so joy-fully with all his sins, and he replied: `I have just seen the angels, and they showed me a page with all my many sins. I said to them: "The Lord said: `Judge not, that ye be not judged.' I have never judged anyone and I hope in the mercy of God, that He will not judge me." And the angels tore up the sheet of paper.' Hearing this, the monks wondered at it and learned from it.

- The Proglogue from Ochrid of St. Nikolai Velimirovic (emphasis mine)

We don't know what was in St. Constantine's heart. Why do you assume that he was a false Christian rather than an imperfect guy in an unprecedented situation trying to follow God as best he could? Your rant about why the Orthodox allegedly wanted to canonize him is as irrelevant as the genetic fallacy you claim that Orthonoob attributes to you.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 11:32:19 AM by Volnutt »
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2015, 11:52:25 AM »
Because he is.

Someone with more traction spiritually or politically decided it a long time before I came onboard, and I'm not enough of an innovator to suggest removing someone from the calendar.

Unless you're attending St. Constantine church or that's your name, you don't really have an reason to pray to him or think about him, so just don't.

Geeze.
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2015, 11:59:31 AM »
Even sinners can be saints; or rather, there was never a saint who was not also at some times a sinner.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2015, 12:25:53 PM »
Even sinners can be saints; or rather, there was never a saint who was not also at some times a sinner.

People think Luther came up with the phrase Simul iustus et pecator but he actually stole it from St. Ambrose.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2015, 12:34:36 PM »
Thread locked pending review.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2015, 07:22:05 PM »
Thread unlocked.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2015, 07:27:07 PM »
Incognito, saints are heroes of the faith, of the church. Think what St. Constantine and St. Helen did for the church, for you and me -- not just directly, but also as paradigms in a variety of ways -- and imagine the ingratitude it would take not to accept them as among the heroes of the faith. A saint is discerned as a saint in specific ways -- one could think of it, altho this is admittedly silly, as discerning their superpowers -- not simply from analysis of an alleged quantity of sin in his or her life.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2015, 07:28:29 PM »
Altho probably I am out of order even putting my brothers and sisters and fathers and mothers the Church under that much judgment. The Church knows her own in eternity, and she tells us St. Constantine the Great is among them.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2015, 10:03:51 PM »
Wait, so St Constantine was not a saint because he didn't try to force Christianity down people's throats but rather respected their freedom of conscience? And then some babbling about Hindu Vedic blahblahblah.

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2015, 10:09:37 PM »
IMO the fact that St. Constantine did not persecute pagans but promoted religious freedom and tolerance, while making Christianity the state religion and converting some state owned  pagan temples and basilicas (which were basically law courts) to churches contributes to his holiness.

We venerate St. Theodosius because under his rule the Arian persecution ground to a halt.  But I think his suppression of the pagan religion was entirely wrong and Un Christian.  His burning of the heretic Priscillian at the stake in Soain set a deadly precedent which was to be followed by the Spanish Inquisition and lead to 3,000 such deaths, plus the casualties of the Albigensian Crusade, which all happened after the Great Schism, but which were a great evil.  It should be remembered that St. Ambrose of Milan, one of our hero saints of,the 4th century, and other eminent bishops who we regard as saints, intercede to try to stop the burning of Priscillian but to no avail.

Thus in a sense you're complaining that Constantine is a saint because he didn't persecute religious minorities.  But persecuting religious minorities violates the Golden Rule, Christ's own instruction to treat others as we wish to be treated.  Al Baghdadi and other Muslim oppressors of the Christian Faith have had since the error of St. Theodosius the excuse "Well the Christians did it, so we're just copying them in converting their churches to mosques."   Woe unto us, for our Lord became man, and gave us instructions, but we did not follow him, instead we crucified him and continued persecuting him even while paying lip service to His Gospel, "for what he shall do to the least of them you do to me."

Being a military dictator, St. Constantine is not a saint in the same sense of Ss. Anthony, Athanasius and Basil the Great; he does not represent moral perfection.  But he is a just ruler, a righteous ruler, in the tradition of Ss. King David and Solomon, who are also saints, though both sinners.  However. For all of Constantines faults, religious persecution is not one of them.  Thus in Lent, when we should be focused on repentance, I find a thread criticizing the Church for having venerated St. Constantine for 1,600 years because he did not conduct himself like Tamerlane and brutally suppress the pagan religion as Tamerlane did Christianity in Central Asia, to be misguided in the extreme.

I also disagree with the OP in absolute terms based on my knowledge of the history of the early Chirc, the Roman Empire, and the Hindu religion, that the glorification of St. Constantine is based on Vedic traditions.  Most Emperors after Constantine, and none before, are saints.  Constantine ended the Diocletian persecution.  And the culture of Ancient Rome was radically different from that of India at the same time, where a struggle between the Brahmins, the lower-caste holy men who were devoted to what became Vishnu, Shiva or Smarti, the Buddhists, the Jains, and new arrivals like Christianity and Manichaeism, for the soul of the Indian nation was underway.    I urge the OP to read the Ecclesiastical History and the Life of Constantine by Eusebius of Caesarea, or at least The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, or for that matter, biographies of Ss. Anthony and Athanasius, who are directly relevant to this epoch (Athanasius wrote the definitive biography of Anthony).  I urge this in a spirit of loving tolerance, because for Christianity to teach the tolerance that Jesus himself taught, we must do it in a tolerant manner.

The Orthodox Church throughout her history unlike the Roman and older Protestant churches has been more the victim of persecution than the perpetrator.  Which perhaps is why Orthodox countries such as Russia, Georgia, Ethiopia and Armenia are home to some fascinating religious minorities.  Though we've been a bit hard on Protestant missionaries, when it comes to tolerating Judaism and Islam, for example, the post Communist Orthodox world has a superb record.  Before communism things were spottier, there was some hypocrisy, but we're doing better now I daresay. 
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2015, 10:19:29 PM »
... His burning of the heretic Priscillian at the stake in Soain set a deadly precedent which was to be followed by the Spanish Inquisition ...

Now that's quite a stretch, not only because you're attempting to link incidents more than a thousand years apart in two different empires, but because the Romans burned people long before their empire became Christian in any way.

(Also, the Church condemned Emperor Maximus for the sentence, even to the point of a Papal censure, something your post does not make quite clear.)
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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2015, 10:33:11 PM »
... His burning of the heretic Priscillian at the stake in Soain set a deadly precedent which was to be followed by the Spanish Inquisition ...

Now that's quite a stretch, not only because you're attempting to link incidents more than a thousand years apart in two different empires, but because the Romans burned people long before their empire became Christian in any way.

(Also, the Church condemned Emperor Maximus for the sentence, even to the point of a Papal censure, something your post does not make quite clear.)

And Christian Spain was pretty tolerant in the centuries preceding the Inquisition. The court of Alfonso X was famous for the presence of learned Jews and Moors alongside Christians.

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2015, 10:39:28 PM »
... His burning of the heretic Priscillian at the stake in Soain set a deadly precedent which was to be followed by the Spanish Inquisition ...

Now that's quite a stretch, not only because you're attempting to link incidents more than a thousand years apart in two different empires, but because the Romans burned people long before their empire became Christian in any way.

(Also, the Church condemned Emperor Maximus for the sentence, even to the point of a Papal censure, something your post does not make quite clear.)

And Christian Spain was pretty tolerant in the centuries preceding the Inquisition. The court of Alfonso X was famous for the presence of learned Jews and Moors alongside Christians.

Ironic considering the Councils of Toledo barred Jews from public office and St. Isidore of Seville helped start the rumors of fundamental Jewish dishonesty.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2015, 10:41:40 PM »
... His burning of the heretic Priscillian at the stake in Soain set a deadly precedent which was to be followed by the Spanish Inquisition ...

Now that's quite a stretch, not only because you're attempting to link incidents more than a thousand years apart in two different empires, but because the Romans burned people long before their empire became Christian in any way.

(Also, the Church condemned Emperor Maximus for the sentence, even to the point of a Papal censure, something your post does not make quite clear.)

And Christian Spain was pretty tolerant in the centuries preceding the Inquisition. The court of Alfonso X was famous for the presence of learned Jews and Moors alongside Christians.

Ironic considering the Councils of Toledo barred Jews from public office and St. Isidore of Seville helped start the rumors of fundamental Jewish dishonesty.

You mean Jews aren't fundamentally dishonest? How dare you accuse a Saint of making things up!

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2015, 10:42:18 PM »
:laugh:
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2015, 10:46:09 PM »
... His burning of the heretic Priscillian at the stake in Soain set a deadly precedent which was to be followed by the Spanish Inquisition ...

Now that's quite a stretch, not only because you're attempting to link incidents more than a thousand years apart in two different empires, but because the Romans burned people long before their empire became Christian in any way.

(Also, the Church condemned Emperor Maximus for the sentence, even to the point of a Papal censure, something your post does not make quite clear.)

And Christian Spain was pretty tolerant in the centuries preceding the Inquisition. The court of Alfonso X was famous for the presence of learned Jews and Moors alongside Christians.

Ironic considering the Councils of Toledo barred Jews from public office and St. Isidore of Seville helped start the rumors of fundamental Jewish dishonesty.

You mean Jews aren't fundamentally dishonest? How dare you accuse a Saint of making things up!

Saints are so much more holy and illumined by the Holy Spirit to understand the truth than we moderns except when they're not. 

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2015, 12:21:43 AM »
... His burning of the heretic Priscillian at the stake in Soain set a deadly precedent which was to be followed by the Spanish Inquisition ...

Now that's quite a stretch, not only because you're attempting to link incidents more than a thousand years apart in two different empires, but because the Romans burned people long before their empire became Christian in any way.

(Also, the Church condemned Emperor Maximus for the sentence, even to the point of a Papal censure, something your post does not make quite clear.)

I was not aware that we went that far, and ai thought Theodosius was still in power.  Can you link me to your source Porter?  I need to revise a bit.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2015, 12:40:41 AM »
It seems that you base a lot of your complaints on him allowing pagan institutions to remain.  I tend to believe that that's because he was a merciful man who respected people's choices.  It would've been worse if he forced everyone to convert or die.  There's also the fact that precipitating drastic religious and social change would make his regime unstable, so he probably didn't want to do that more than necessary.  As for the Vedic thing, quite a few ancient cultures regarded their kings as gods.  Take Egypt and Japan, for example.  It's not necessarily a transfer of religious beliefs, but simply an effective way of keeping a population under the kings control.  Anyway, St. Constantine's the one who did away with that in the Roman empire.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2015, 02:12:18 AM »
It seems that you base a lot of your complaints on him allowing pagan institutions to remain.  I tend to believe that that's because he was a merciful man who respected people's choices.  It would've been worse if he forced everyone to convert or die.  There's also the fact that precipitating drastic religious and social change would make his regime unstable, so he probably didn't want to do that more than necessary.  As for the Vedic thing, quite a few ancient cultures regarded their kings as gods.  Take Egypt and Japan, for example.  It's not necessarily a transfer of religious beliefs, but simply an effective way of keeping a population under the kings control.  Anyway, St. Constantine's the one who did away with that in the Roman empire.

Yep,,agreed.  That is once again the summary of what Imwas trying to say.  My verbosity is killing me.   :(
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Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2015, 02:16:04 AM »
It seems that you base a lot of your complaints on him allowing pagan institutions to remain.  I tend to believe that that's because he was a merciful man who respected people's choices.  It would've been worse if he forced everyone to convert or die.  There's also the fact that precipitating drastic religious and social change would make his regime unstable, so he probably didn't want to do that more than necessary.  As for the Vedic thing, quite a few ancient cultures regarded their kings as gods.  Take Egypt and Japan, for example.  It's not necessarily a transfer of religious beliefs, but simply an effective way of keeping a population under the kings control.  Anyway, St. Constantine's the one who did away with that in the Roman empire.

The Romans themselves worshiped their emperors; you don't need to appeal to Hinduism. And yes, St Constantine's tolerance makes him far more of a sympathetic figure to me than St Theodosius. So yeah, I agree with you.

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2015, 02:58:09 AM »
As I understand it, he wanted to enforce Nicaea by the sword but St. Athanasius convinced him not to.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2015, 06:23:11 PM »
I'll be back later to respond to some comments. Another blasphemous thing is that Constantine is called "Equal to the Apostles"! This is so blasphemous, that I can't even believe it. The apostles openly and publicly repudiated and resisted idolatry and paganism, as we see in the Book of Acts and the epistles of Saint Paul. Constantine allowed the existence of the ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES, which honored the pagan goddess DEMETER to exist in the empire, even a decade after his alleged conversion to Christianity. No saint, let alone apostle would ever allow paganism to exist in an empire.  In addition, the apostles held the highest office in the Church and were specifically appointed by Christ himself. There is no office of emperor in Christianity. Constantine was not even remotely equal to the apostles. Oh, and by the way, the apostles actually believed in Christianity and had correct doctrine of Jesus Christ.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 06:25:28 PM by Incognito777 »

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2015, 06:38:33 PM »
I'll be back later to respond to some comments. Another blasphemous thing is that Constantine is called "Equal to the Apostles"! This is so blasphemous, that I can't even believe it. The apostles openly and publicly repudiated and resisted idolatry and paganism, as we see in the Book of Acts and the epistles of Saint Paul. Constantine allowed the existence of the ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES, which honored the pagan goddess DEMETER to exist in the empire, even a decade after his alleged conversion to Christianity. No saint, let alone apostle would ever allow paganism to exist in an empire.  In addition, the apostles held the highest office in the Church and were specifically appointed by Christ himself. There is no office of emperor in Christianity. Constantine was not even remotely equal to the apostles. Oh, and by the way, the apostles actually believed in Christianity and had correct doctrine of Jesus Christ.

How did the apostles deal with pagans? By converting them.

How did St. Constantine deal with pagans? By setting the stage for their conversions.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2015, 06:42:12 PM »
You say you're Orthodox? So why are you getting your church teachings from non-Orthodox sources?

That sounds like guilt by association fallacy. At any rate, I didn't appeal to non-Orthodox sources. I referenced a talk by the Orthodox historian, Dr. Schneider, and Eusebius' history of the Church (an inaccurate and political work, by the way).  Do you disagree that Constantine allowed Eleusinian temples to exist in the empire? I know of no historian, Orthodox or non-Orthodox, who would dispute this. My experience with Orthodox sources, however, is that they are not always objective, true and honest. They tend to be very political and ideological.

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2015, 06:43:22 PM »
I'll be back later to respond to some comments. Another blasphemous thing is that Constantine is called "Equal to the Apostles"! This is so blasphemous, that I can't even believe it. The apostles openly and publicly repudiated and resisted idolatry and paganism, as we see in the Book of Acts and the epistles of Saint Paul. Constantine allowed the existence of the ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES, which honored the pagan goddess DEMETER to exist in the empire, even a decade after his alleged conversion to Christianity. No saint, let alone apostle would ever allow paganism to exist in an empire.  In addition, the apostles held the highest office in the Church and were specifically appointed by Christ himself. There is no office of emperor in Christianity. Constantine was not even remotely equal to the apostles. Oh, and by the way, the apostles actually believed in Christianity and had correct doctrine of Jesus Christ.

I think you need to calm down before you're guilty of sacrilege of your own. I'm very curious what foundation you think you stand on to array yourself against millions of holy Christians, of Fathers and saints, of Holy Tradition, of two thousand years of worship and communion, in short, against the Church. But that would be another topic.

At any rate, you're again showing yourself basically ignorant of what is a saint. A saint that is designated "Equal-to-the-Apostles" is not being put in a competition for holiness with the Twelve. The title means only that he or she was as instrumental as one of the Twelve in bringing some large population-group to Christianity. "Apostle" is Greek for "missionary," more or less, and it is this aspect of the Twelve to which the designation is offering the comparison.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2015, 06:45:34 PM »
Constantine only cared about peace and unity in the empire, not Christianity. He did not have saint "consciousness," or apostle "consciousness," because they would have preferred death than allowing idolatry and paganism to exist in an allegedly Christian empire. Constantine was a politician, not a real Christian. so it dishonors the saints and apostles to place him in their categories..

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2015, 06:48:27 PM »
Constantine only cared about peace and unity in the empire, not Christianity. He did not have saint "consciousness," or apostle "consciousness," because they would have preferred death than allowing idolatry and paganism to exist in an allegedly Christian empire. Constantine was a politician, not a real Christian. so it dishonors the saints and apostles to place him in their categories..

Oh now he is not even to be considered a Christian?

"You do err, not knowing the Scriptures," by the way -- the Apostles do not inveigh one way or the other upon "allowing" paganism to "exist" in the Roman empire.

Can you name one way St. Constantine differed from his pagan predecessors? Even one way? Take your time. Take a deep breath. There's no hurry.
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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2015, 06:54:47 PM »
I think you need to calm down before you're guilty of sacrilege of your own. I'm very curious what foundation you think you stand on to array yourself against millions of holy Christians, of Fathers and saints, of Holy Tradition, of two thousand years of worship and communion, in short, against the Church. But that would be another topic.

Ad Hominem (Also, "personal attack," "poisoning the well." The fallacy of attempting to refute an argument by attacking the opposition’s personal character or reputation, using a corrupted negative argument from ethos. E.g., "He's so evil that you can't believe anything he says."

Appeal to Tradition: The fallacy that a standpoint, situation or action is right, proper and correct simply because it has "always" been that way, because people have "always" thought that way, or because it continues to serve one particular group very well.. A corrupted argument from ethos (that of past generations).

Appeal to Popularity. Something isn't true because lots of people believe it.

Appeal to Tradition. Something isn't true because it is old or traditional.

But your definition of what it means to be equal to an apostle, is not a concept warranted by God or Holy Scripture. It is blasphemous to call a man "equal" to an apostle who did not even believe in Christianity and who allowed paganism to exist in an empire.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 06:55:37 PM by Incognito777 »

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2015, 06:58:40 PM »
Ah funny! You've set aside an obsessively personal outrage upon St. Constantine long enough to note what you think is a personal tone in another poster.
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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2015, 07:02:18 PM »
Appeal to Tradition. Something isn't true because it is old or traditional.

But your definition of what it means to be equal to an apostle, is not a concept warranted by God or Holy Scripture. It is blasphemous to call a man "equal" to an apostle who did not even believe in Christianity and who allowed paganism to exist in an empire.

Now this is interesting. What's your game? You're not Orthodox and have no use for the ancient Church. You personally know what's "warranted" by God and the Scriptures. You are interested in criticizing the Church, even to the point of raking finely thru whom she considers saints and how she titles them. What's your story?
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2015, 07:17:27 PM »
I think you need to calm down before you're guilty of sacrilege of your own. I'm very curious what foundation you think you stand on to array yourself against millions of holy Christians, of Fathers and saints, of Holy Tradition, of two thousand years of worship and communion, in short, against the Church. But that would be another topic.

Ad Hominem (Also, "personal attack," "poisoning the well." The fallacy of attempting to refute an argument by attacking the opposition’s personal character or reputation, using a corrupted negative argument from ethos. E.g., "He's so evil that you can't believe anything he says."

Appeal to Tradition: The fallacy that a standpoint, situation or action is right, proper and correct simply because it has "always" been that way, because people have "always" thought that way, or because it continues to serve one particular group very well.. A corrupted argument from ethos (that of past generations).

Appeal to Popularity. Something isn't true because lots of people believe it.

Appeal to Tradition. Something isn't true because it is old or traditional.

But your definition of what it means to be equal to an apostle, is not a concept warranted by God or Holy Scripture. It is blasphemous to call a man "equal" to an apostle who did not even believe in Christianity and who allowed paganism to exist in an empire.

Again I ask, how do you know he wasn't really a Christian? What gives you the right to judge the heart of a man you've never even met?

What would you do if you were the ruler of a country? Would you take the rights away from everyone who was not Christian? Would you force them to convert or die?
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2015, 07:19:47 PM »
I think you need to calm down before you're guilty of sacrilege of your own. I'm very curious what foundation you think you stand on to array yourself against millions of holy Christians, of Fathers and saints, of Holy Tradition, of two thousand years of worship and communion, in short, against the Church. But that would be another topic.

Ad Hominem (Also, "personal attack," "poisoning the well." The fallacy of attempting to refute an argument by attacking the opposition’s personal character or reputation, using a corrupted negative argument from ethos. E.g., "He's so evil that you can't believe anything he says."

Appeal to Tradition: The fallacy that a standpoint, situation or action is right, proper and correct simply because it has "always" been that way, because people have "always" thought that way, or because it continues to serve one particular group very well.. A corrupted argument from ethos (that of past generations).

Appeal to Popularity. Something isn't true because lots of people believe it.

Appeal to Tradition. Something isn't true because it is old or traditional.

But your definition of what it means to be equal to an apostle, is not a concept warranted by God or Holy Scripture. It is blasphemous to call a man "equal" to an apostle who did not even believe in Christianity and who allowed paganism to exist in an empire.

You do realize that appealing to Scripture is an appeal to tradition, right?

Quote
So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. -2 Thessalonians 2:15, by St. Paul the Logically Fallacious
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Offline Skydive

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2015, 07:37:40 PM »
subscribing

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2015, 09:27:58 PM »
You say you're Orthodox? So why are you getting your church teachings from non-Orthodox sources?

That sounds like guilt by association fallacy. At any rate, I didn't appeal to non-Orthodox sources. I referenced a talk by the Orthodox historian, Dr. Schneider, and Eusebius' history of the Church (an inaccurate and political work, by the way).  Do you disagree that Constantine allowed Eleusinian temples to exist in the empire? I know of no historian, Orthodox or non-Orthodox, who would dispute this. My experience with Orthodox sources, however, is that they are not always objective, true and honest. They tend to be very political and ideological.

St. Constantine the Great certainly allowed such temples to remain,,and would,have sinned by violating the Golden Rule if he had shut them down.  There was no precedent at the time for doing so, and nowhere do Christ or his apostles advocate violence against people of other faiths.  Recourse to the example of Israel in the Old Testament on this point is a non-sequitur.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2015, 01:52:21 AM »
I don't understand the urge to rush and condemn everything pagan (which usually comes along with an equally unwarranted urge to glorify everything Jewish). G K Chesterton said "I am a pagan who believes in Christ," which seems to me a far more fitting attitude than that of many Christians today, who seem to view Christianity as the continuation of Judaism simpliciter.

Christian practice has pagan roots (or at least pagan parallels) too, and that's not a bad thing.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 01:52:37 AM by OrthoNoob »
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2015, 01:55:37 AM »
I think you need to calm down before you're guilty of sacrilege of your own. I'm very curious what foundation you think you stand on to array yourself against millions of holy Christians, of Fathers and saints, of Holy Tradition, of two thousand years of worship and communion, in short, against the Church. But that would be another topic.

Ad Hominem (Also, "personal attack," "poisoning the well." The fallacy of attempting to refute an argument by attacking the opposition’s personal character or reputation, using a corrupted negative argument from ethos. E.g., "He's so evil that you can't believe anything he says."

Appeal to Tradition: The fallacy that a standpoint, situation or action is right, proper and correct simply because it has "always" been that way, because people have "always" thought that way, or because it continues to serve one particular group very well.. A corrupted argument from ethos (that of past generations).

Appeal to Popularity. Something isn't true because lots of people believe it.

Appeal to Tradition. Something isn't true because it is old or traditional.

But your definition of what it means to be equal to an apostle, is not a concept warranted by God or Holy Scripture. It is blasphemous to call a man "equal" to an apostle who did not even believe in Christianity and who allowed paganism to exist in an empire.

Never fear, ladies and gentlemen! Fallacy Boy is here!

But seriously now, you need to slow down with the fallacy quoting. The reality is that Tradition is an authority in the Orthodox Church. In fact, it is the authority. And while stating that you are toeing the line of sacrilege yourself is not, properly speaking, an argument that you are wrong, it is a warning that was in every way warranted.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #43 on: February 28, 2015, 02:06:25 AM »
I don't understand the urge to rush and condemn everything pagan (which usually comes along with an equally unwarranted urge to glorify everything Jewish). G K Chesterton said "I am a pagan who believes in Christ," which seems to me a far more fitting attitude than that of many Christians today, who seem to view Christianity as the continuation of Judaism simpliciter.

Christian practice has pagan roots (or at least pagan parallels) too, and that's not a bad thing.

Agreed, but irrelevant as he's already been proven wrong on his Vedic-Roman connection.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2015, 03:56:14 AM »
I don't understand the urge to rush and condemn everything pagan (which usually comes along with an equally unwarranted urge to glorify everything Jewish). G K Chesterton said "I am a pagan who believes in Christ," which seems to me a far more fitting attitude than that of many Christians today, who seem to view Christianity as the continuation of Judaism simpliciter.

Christian practice has pagan roots (or at least pagan parallels) too, and that's not a bad thing.

Agreed, but irrelevant as he's already been proven wrong on his Vedic-Roman connection.

I wasn't even interested in that point so I kind of ignored it, to be honest. I was talking about Roman paganism.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #45 on: February 28, 2015, 04:36:32 AM »
I think you need to calm down before you're guilty of sacrilege of your own. I'm very curious what foundation you think you stand on to array yourself against millions of holy Christians, of Fathers and saints, of Holy Tradition, of two thousand years of worship and communion, in short, against the Church. But that would be another topic.

Ad Hominem (Also, "personal attack," "poisoning the well." The fallacy of attempting to refute an argument by attacking the opposition’s personal character or reputation, using a corrupted negative argument from ethos. E.g., "He's so evil that you can't believe anything he says."

Appeal to Tradition: The fallacy that a standpoint, situation or action is right, proper and correct simply because it has "always" been that way, because people have "always" thought that way, or because it continues to serve one particular group very well.. A corrupted argument from ethos (that of past generations).

Appeal to Popularity. Something isn't true because lots of people believe it.

Appeal to Tradition. Something isn't true because it is old or traditional.

But your definition of what it means to be equal to an apostle, is not a concept warranted by God or Holy Scripture. It is blasphemous to call a man "equal" to an apostle who did not even believe in Christianity and who allowed paganism to exist in an empire.

Again I ask, how do you know he wasn't really a Christian? What gives you the right to judge the heart of a man you've never even met?

Not sure why this gets so much play around here. In a word: actions.

Christ spoke rather plainly for which people will be judged, their actions. His words about the last judgement are pretty clear. And I am not sure how we would understand heart today was the same as during when Christ followers began to put together how they understood the Gospel.

Not speaking about any Saint named within the thread, but yeah if you aren't feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and giving comfort to the imprisoned and the like, then the case is rather easily closed.

But who wants to do all that when there are people to mock on internet boards? Or to preach to the choir? Watch TV. Take pilgrimages. Or whatever else seems more important than loving your neighbor.

Keep your heart how you like, I just care about what you do. Or at least that what Jesus tells me in the most frightening part of scripture.

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #46 on: February 28, 2015, 04:55:29 AM »
And what you don't see is the person who in foolishness passes by the hungry and then comes to himself later, reproaches his soul and tries to make it right and prays for the person if he can't find them. God will judge, not you because you don't see every thought and action. Just make sure you're feeding the hungry.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #47 on: February 28, 2015, 05:06:27 AM »
And what you don't see is the person who in foolishness passes by the hungry and then comes to himself later, reproaches his soul and tries to make it right and prays for the person if he can't find them. God will judge, not you because you don't see every thought and action. Just make sure you're feeding the hungry.

Look at what Christ says. Sorry nothing about you walked past the hungry and felt bad later for doing nothing about it so asked me to do it for you . . .

But since that is what everyone does, cross tattoos or not, we all collectively let one another slide on it.

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #48 on: February 28, 2015, 05:13:03 AM »
And what you don't see is the person who in foolishness passes by the hungry and then comes to himself later, reproaches his soul and tries to make it right and prays for the person if he can't find them. God will judge, not you because you don't see every thought and action. Just make sure you're feeding the hungry.

Look at what Christ says. Sorry nothing about you walked past the hungry and felt bad later for doing nothing about it so asked me to do it for you . . .

But since that is what everyone does, cross tattoos or not, we all collectively let one another slide on it.

I didn't say "asked me to do it for you," I said tried to but was not able and then prayed. Have you really done absolutely everything you could possibly do to feed the hungry? If not get off your high horse and go sell your computer or something.

If we expect God to show mercy to us, then we'd better start showing it to one another. That's somewhere in the words of Jesus too, I think.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #49 on: February 28, 2015, 06:45:39 AM »
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #50 on: February 28, 2015, 12:36:40 PM »
And what you don't see is the person who in foolishness passes by the hungry and then comes to himself later, reproaches his soul and tries to make it right and prays for the person if he can't find them. God will judge, not you because you don't see every thought and action. Just make sure you're feeding the hungry.

Look at what Christ says. Sorry nothing about you walked past the hungry and felt bad later for doing nothing about it so asked me to do it for you . . .

But since that is what everyone does, cross tattoos or not, we all collectively let one another slide on it.

I didn't say "asked me to do it for you," I said tried to but was not able and then prayed. Have you really done absolutely everything you could possibly do to feed the hungry? If not get off your high horse and go sell your computer or something.

If we expect God to show mercy to us, then we'd better start showing it to one another. That's somewhere in the words of Jesus too, I think.
When Jesus says for you to love your neighbor he's asking something of you that you can't will. What he is actually saying is that you need to be transformed into a new person. Only by that transformation into a loving person can you love your neighbors and also your enemies. This is what the gospel promises that by accepting God's love, that it will transform you, and by extension you can overcome the self. Without that, I guess you can boast all you want about feeding the hungry, sheltering the shelterless, clothing the naked, etc...but what does Paul say about such boasting? I think that is fundamental to Christianity.

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2015, 07:15:12 PM »
St. Constantine is a saint because of the power of the forgiveness of God.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #52 on: February 28, 2015, 07:17:10 PM »
St. Constantine is a saint because of the power of the forgiveness of God.

A more true statement on the matter has not been spoken.

Well put biro.

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #53 on: March 02, 2015, 02:04:36 PM »
Another problem with the idea that Constantine could be a saint, is the fact he allowed the Arian heresy to exist in the empire. It was not until Theodosius that this heresy was officially forbidden to exist in the empire.

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #54 on: March 02, 2015, 02:06:07 PM »
"St. Constantine is a saint because of the power of the forgiveness of God."

That logic would mean we are all saints, as understood by the Orthodox Church. Such a notion dishonors the true Orthodox saints.

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #55 on: March 02, 2015, 02:07:02 PM »
Another problem with the idea that Constantine could be a saint, is the fact he allowed the Arian heresy to exist in the empire. It was not until Theodosius that this heresy was officially forbidden to exist in the empire.

No, no there are no problems with the idea that St. Constantine the Great could be a saint. And it's not just an idea: he is among the saints and approved by God.
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #56 on: March 02, 2015, 05:40:22 PM »
Another problem with the idea that Constantine could be a saint, is the fact he allowed the Arian heresy to exist in the empire. It was not until Theodosius that this heresy was officially forbidden to exist in the empire.

What should he have done about it?
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #57 on: March 02, 2015, 05:43:35 PM »
Another problem with the idea that Constantine could be a saint, is the fact he allowed the Arian heresy to exist in the empire. It was not until Theodosius that this heresy was officially forbidden to exist in the empire.

What should he have done about it?

Well... he called the Council of Nicaea...
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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #58 on: March 02, 2015, 08:11:49 PM »
"St. Constantine is a saint because of the power of the forgiveness of God."

That logic would mean we are all saints, as understood by the Orthodox Church. Such a notion dishonors the true Orthodox saints.

Not much for St. John's Paschal homily?

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #59 on: March 07, 2015, 03:18:37 AM »
No, no there are no problems with the idea that St. Constantine the Great could be a saint. And it's not just an idea: he is among the saints and approved by God.

Where is the evidence for the claim? I am only interested in what the sources have to say, not ideology and religious belief. There are no good reasons to believe Constantine is a saint, as I have shown. No saint would ever do the things he did. The idea that he is among the saints and approved by God is purely circular reasoning.


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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #60 on: March 07, 2015, 03:18:50 AM »
I appreciate responses, but it would be unethical and wrong for me to accept bad answers. The responses I have read here are not any good. However, I have not read all of them yet.

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Re: Why is Constantine a Saint?
« Reply #61 on: March 13, 2015, 03:52:37 AM »
I appreciate responses, but it would be unethical and wrong for me to accept bad answers. The responses I have read here are not any good. However, I have not read all of them yet.

What do you mean 'accept'? You challenged the sainthood of a canonised saint, and the flaws in your point of view have been pointed out. It's not really down to you to 'accept' it or not.
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