2. The First 500 Years

Time Flies

A time line that illustrates the dramatic reversal of Christian values during Christianity’s first 500 years.

Before Christ – God interacts with the Hebrews through the law-based old covenant (Torah) that Christians now refer to as the Old Testament. Lots of rules and regulations to follow to get good with God.

Up to 33 A.D. – Jesus teaches and models a more personal relationship with God through a principle-based covenant. He’s a Jewish Rabbi who says that he comes to fulfill the law and that this new covenant makes the old one obsolete. He also makes some pretty outlandish claims about actually being God, and that no-one can achieve salvation except through him. So either he’s telling the truth, or he’s a complete lunatic – in which case you shouldn’t listen to a word he says. Whatever you believe, Jesus can’t be watered down to just being a wise teacher who gives good moral advice.

33 to 313 A.D. – For the first 300 years Christians were pacifists who refused take part in the military. They were a persecuted minority, and many were killed in the Roman Coliseum.

313 A.D. – The Roman Emperor Constantine proclaims tolerance for Christians and eventually converts to Christianity. He mandates that anyone joining the military must now be a Christian, and Christianity shifts from being a persecuted minority to a persecuting majority.

410 A.D. – The fall of the Roman Empire – often attributed to pacifist values weakening the empire.

After 410 A.D. – Augustine, a theologian, taught that there were times when it was acceptable for a Christian to kill, which laid the groundwork for “Just War Theory”. The basic premise was that God mostly cares about what’s in your heart, and that your actions don’t matter that much.

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To learn more, click on “Assumptions” at the top of the page.

T

One response

5 10 2012
Mr. Robert Mudaala

I like this and thrills me as I read your articles

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