Ending Individualism   Leave a comment

Individualism is a danger for large governments that require conformity and docility. When Constantine made his political calculation that faithful Christianity legalized could provide stability to the Roman Empire, he apparently didn’t foresee a future where his successor thought nominal Christianity could provide conformity throughout the Empire.

By requiring everyone to become Christian so as to partake of the benefits of the empire, Theodosius failed to grasp the history of Christianity. Christian conversion is individual. We stand before God alone, without father or mother, country or culture. God forgives our individual sins, not our group sins.

Theodosius linked the Roman Empire to the “catholic” (or universal) church and required it to be something God had never intended it to be — an all-encompassing arbitrator of men’s souls. Instead of faith in God, the Roman Catholic Church now offered membership in the Roman Empire. When Rome fell, the Roman Catholic Church was really the only authority left in Western Europe while the individual kingdoms sorted themselves out. The Church had to bring order to society.

And it did … by means of teaching Christians that being obedient was God-ordained. Good Christians didn’t question the authorities, didn’t assert their individuality or rebel against cruel or inhumane governments.

And, thus the Roman Catholic Church, comprised by this time of the younger brothers of nobility, created the divine right of kings and the idolatry of government worship.

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