Chapter One -- Roman
This book is an extension of the Divine Principle, the basic theology of Rev. Sun Myung Moon. It will go into more detail of the history of Christianity. It would be best if you read the Principle first. In the Principle we learn that mankind fell into ignorance. This is called the Fall of Man. Rev. Moon has been the first person in history to discover and teach how mankind fell away from God. We now know the cause of the problem of evil and therefore can cure our tragic situation. We learn that God has worked to send a Messiah -- a teacher -- whose mission is to bring the truth that will answer the fundamental questions of life. Then everyone will have the same ideology and will live in harmony.
One of the greatest questions is how God has worked to guide human history. God's goal is the kingdom of heaven on earth, an ideal world. The Principle teaches the reality of Satan who has worked to thwart God's ideal. Satan, the Bible says, is the ruler of the world. God has worked to prepare the world to accept the second coming of Christ. God has worked to raise mankind to accept the new Messiah for the last 2000 years. Satan has worked to keep people ignorant.
In the Divine Principle we learn that God gave three blessings -- to be fruitful, multiply and have dominion. Fruitful means that each person is to grow to have a relationship with God. We must each have God's values. Sadly, mankind has been ignorant of who God is. Who knows absolutely what God's nature is? Who knows what God's will is? No one. Until now. God has given Sun Myung Moon the keys to building the ideal world where we will all live as one harmonious family. He brings the truth that will unite mankind and inspire us to build a world that will only know peace for eternity. Rev. and Mrs. Moon need to be studied. They are the teachers of who God is. In the Principle and in their many speeches they speak with absolute confidence how we can be fruitful, multiply and have dominion. Satan has been successful in keeping people from hearing and understanding the wonderful words of truth in the Divine Principle. Satan has deceived mankind with his lies. The highest expression of God has been in the Bible. Christianity has been the highest religion. But sadly, Satan has been able to corrupt Christian theology and influenced Christians to act satanically. It breaks God's heart to see Satan abuse his children. Jesus is in agony to see Christians misunderstand him and reject the priceless truths given in the Divine Principle. Eventually the truth will rise. The evil empire of the Soviet Union scrambled radio waves from the West that tried to send the truth to the Russian people. Satan scrambles God's messages given by his champions. But eventually the Soviet Union collapsed. The Berlin Wall was torn down. And eventually every person will accept the logical teachings of the Principle.
To be fruitful means we need a clear and logical ideology of who God is. Satan has been successful in making Christian theology a ridiculous superstition. This has been a key reason why it is still a minority faith in the world after 2000 years. The key concept that Satan has been able to introduce like a virus into Christian thought is that Jesus is God -- that he preexisted before Adam, came to die and will return on the clouds. All of this nonsense is pure science fiction. It is a theology of superstition. God has never worked that way and never will. It is ridiculous to believe that Jesus had no physical father. God and Jesus have worked to send messengers to teach this simple truth, but Satan has been hugely successful in crushing this thought. The vast majority of Christians hold the incomprehensible view that God is three beings -- a Trinity. The true view is unitarian, not trinitarian. There is only one God, not three. In this book we will see how God has been trying to teach this basic point to fallen man and end the division between God and mankind.
The second blessing means each person is to marry and have children. They are to form a godly family. Men are supposed to be God-centered patriarchs that guide, protect and provide for their families. Women are to be help mates. Tragically, Satan has influenced many men to be cruel and irresponsible to their wives and children. He has been successful in making women be rebellious like Eve. There has been a battle of the sexes in which no one has won. A key element of the Messiah's teaching will be on the proper roles of men and women. Rev. and Mrs. Moon teach how families can have true love. Sadly, even some of their own children have been attacked by Satan and reject their father as their patriarch. Satan is powerful, but his days are numbered. With the Principle we now have the complete truth that will end the division in the family.
The third blessing from God is that mankind is to build a paradise on earth. God is a god of science and wants mankind to have the knowledge of how the world works so he can build a technologically advanced world. Even more importantly he wants mankind to know how to organize themselves into communities and nations that run smoothly. There are laws of politics and economics that must be obeyed if mankind is to use its creativity and harmoniously build an ideal world. Satan's ultimate ideology of dominion is that held by Communist countries. Marx and Engels were messengers and teachers for Satan. They taught the ideology of feminism and socialism. They believed in the use of force.
God's way is the sacred beliefs of private property, rule of law, democracy, free enterprise and freedom of religion and speech. God has worked for 2000 years to teach mankind to not attack minorities. So many Christians have felt the Bible gave them the right to attack everyone from Jews to Blacks to Asians. Christian America has killed and jailed many minorities. It has killed the founder of the Mormon church, Joseph Smith, and jailed innocent men like Martin Luther King and Sun Myung Moon. The majority of people, polls show, feel it is all right for parents to hire thugs to use brutal force to kidnap and incarcerate any adult who believes in a minority religion. My wife was the first person to go through the terrifying ordeal of deprogramming in the Unification Church. Rev. Moon spoke to her after she eventually escaped. What did he say? Seek revenge? Kidnap her parents and inflict an eye for an eye? No. He told her to love her parents. We will see that Christians have not understood how to use force. God does not initiate force. God is patient and trusts that in freedom the truth will rise. He is for decentralized power. Power is to be in the family, not the state. God is for freedom, not coercion. God is for persuasion, not force. Satan works to influence people to use the force of the State to crush God's messengers.
The truth hurts to fallen man. The truths given in this book will be very painful to hear. Rev. Moon said in his speech at Yankee Stadium that the Messiah comes as a doctor. His medicine in difficult to swallow. We don't want to go into surgery. But we must submit or else Satan's cancer will ultimately be worse. I pray that you will have the ability to fight Satan's attacks as you read this book and the words of Rev. and Mrs. Moon. The sooner this world lives by the values they teach, the sooner we can end war in the family and between nations. They have the keys to world peace. And Satan makes them look like they are evil. Don't be like the mob who demanded Jesus' death. Don't be like Steve Hassan who is like the disciples of Jesus who deserted him. See the beautiful truth -- the logic -- the common sense -- of the Divine Principle and join in this great crusade to finally bring unity and true love to this divided and unloving world.
We are going to look at the three major empires in the last 2000 years and learn what God wanted for each one. The first is the Roman Empire, the second is the Holy Roman Empire and the third is the English and then American Empire. The first empire spoke Latin, the second spoke German, the third spoke English. We will focus on three men who epitomize these empires: Constantine, Charlemagne and Jefferson.
1. Roman Empire Constantine Latin
2. Holy Roman Empire Charlemagne German
3. British/American Empire Jefferson English
Constantine and Charlemagne failed and their empires fell. Jefferson did many things right and to the degree America has lived his true values, it has prospered. But America has been declining because it has progressively rejected his values. For a detailed analysis of this read our books on the internet at www.DivinePrinciple.com.
1. Biblical Theology
Let's look at the first truth and see how Satan was able to bring about the fall of Rome, the fall of Charlemagne's empire in the Middle Ages, and the rise and problems of America. Jesus was murdered in Israel that was dominated by the Roman Empire. God had worked to make the Roman Empire the unifying force in the world. Rome had an amazing system of roads and postal service that united a huge area. God wanted Jesus' teachings to spread throughout the Roman Empire and then to the rest of the world. Sadly, Jesus was murdered before he could teach everything mankind needed to hear to bring world peace and unity. From spirit world, Jesus and others on God's side have been whispering in the ears of those who could understand and have the ability to enlighten them on what God wants. Satan has been more influential and garbled the messages God was trying so desperately to have mankind hear.
Christianity grew slowly after Jesus' death. After 300 hundred years there were finally enough Christians to be an influential minority in the Roman Empire. One of the most amazing stories in history is the conversion of Emperor Constantine to Christianity. On October 28, 312 A.D. at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on the Tiber River, he had a vision; he saw a sign in the sky, which said "In this sign conquer." A number of famous painters have imagined this event. Just before Constantine came to power, Diocletion was the ruler. The greatest persecution of Christians in the previous 300 years happened during his reign. It was like the phrase, darkest before the dawn. God was able to convert Constantine, but unfortunately, Constantine made many mistakes. When leaders make mistakes the consequences are devastating to the masses of people who suffer for years until God can find another leader. God eventually had to abandon Rome and move on to the Germans because Constantine and those emperors who followed him made too many mistakes. One of the greatest mistakes made in the years from 300 to 400 A.D. was eventually making the view that Jesus was part of a trinity the fundamental belief of Christians in the Roman Empire. Eventually God had to move on and try to raise a people to understand that there is only one God -- not three. Jesus has been in unimaginable pain to see Christians not understand even the simplest thing about him. He was a man. Period. He did not pre-exist before Adam and Eve. Rev. Moon traveled to every state in America in the early 1970s teaching how ridiculous this view is.
Let's look at the story of how God and Satan battled for the mind of Constantine and the religious leaders around him.
At the time when Constantine was being converted, God wanted him to have a correct view of Jesus. God inspired Arius, a priest of Alexandria, Egypt, to write and teach and start a movement that said Jesus was not God. Gods way is to surprise and speak through humble people. Arius was about as far away from the Pope in Rome as you could get. He was not a bishop but a priest of the church, the lowest position. God is always surprising the high and mighty in their headquarters in big cities by having the truth come from out in the boondocks by people without fancy degrees or position. God, having won an emperor of Rome, was anxious that Christianity get off on the right track as it was about to grow and God wanted it to sweep the earth. To do this He did not want the illogical view that Jesus is God to prevail.
When Arius started his teaching in 318 which has become known as Arianism, his superior, Bishop Athanasius told him to stop saying that the three persons of the Christian trinity -- the Father, Son and Holy Ghost were not equal. But Arius kept teaching and so his superior condemned his teachings as heresy and excommunicated him. But Arius continued to teach and attracted many followers. He was greatly admired. A Catholic historian of the time wrote describing Arius saying: "Arius ... was tall and thin, of melancholy look, ... He was known to be an ascetic .... His manner of speaking was gentle; his addresses were persuasive." Just the kind of man God wanted to be his spokesman of good, dignified character and persuasive. He led an austere life and championed common sense in religion. This helped to make him the idol of multitudes of people. One historian said he was a "genius of propaganda." His teachings were the talk of the town. Everyone chose sides. Arius was a priest or presbyter. They were in charge of individual churches. The regional director was called a Bishop. Arius bishop was Bishop Alexander who called together a council of other bishops in the area and condemned Arius as a heretic and excommunicated him. Arius then traveled to other cities and gained support from some bishops and campaigned for his ideas.
One writer of the time, Eusebius, wrote, that it caused such "tumult and disorder ... that the Christian religion afforded a subject of profane merriment to the pagans, even in their theaters." One historian wrote of this time: "The most abstruse theological controversies excited ferocious passions. Gregory of Nyssa remarked that one could not talk to a shopkeeper in the market place, or to an attendant in the public baths, without getting involved in a theological discussion, and very often the discussion was about the relationship of the Son to the Father." Constantine was upset by this chaos because he saw his new found religion as a unifying force. He saw himself as the thirteenth apostle. He took seriously what he considered his mission to promote Christianity. His chief concern was that if the church became divided and torn by doctrinal dissent it would offend God and bring divine vengeance upon the Roman Empire and Constantine himself. He deeply felt that if there was a schism is would be "insane, futile madness" inspired by the "Devil, the author of evil." He saw that it was his personal duty to use his imperial position to remove any error from Christian teaching and propagate the true religion.
Constantine wrote to both Arius and Athanasius to act like calm philosophers and "reconcile their differences peacefully," or at least to keep their debates from the public ear. He wrote, "The cause seems to be quite trifling, and unworthy of such fierce contests." He criticized Bishop Alexander for giving it importance and writing to all the other bishops and upsetting them. And he chastised Arius saying, "and you, Arius, if you had such thoughts, should have kept silence ... There was no need to make these questions public... since they are problems that idleness alone rises ... these are silly actions worthy of inexperienced children, and not of priests or reasonable man." He felt the issue was trivial and would be resolved without difficulty. His optimism was not justified.
His letter had no effect because the issue was vital to theology and politics. Arius was right and his views were from God who wanted to fundamentally change the Christian church. As the controversy spread, Constantine decided to call for the first general, ecumenical council of Christian leaders in the history of Christianity and he paid for everyones traveling expenses. They came from all over the world to meet in Nicea in 325 (what is now Turkey). Constantine presided over the meeting and gave his thoughts as well. There was a lengthy and heated debate. Eusebius reported that Constantine "listened patiently to the debates moderated the violence of the contending parties" and joined in the debate as well.
Arius argued that Jesus did not pre-exist. He said, "There was time when he was not." They examined Arius books in which he wrote, "We confess one God, who alone is unbegotten, alone eternal, alone without beginning, alone true, alone possessing immortality, alone wise and good." He wrote that there is only one unbegotten. The Son of God is begotten and had a beginning. Christ was a created being and therefore not divine.
The main opponent of Arius was Athanasius. He conceded that it was difficult picturing three distinct persons in one God, but reason must bow to the mystery of the Trinity. His view prevailed and they wrote what is today called the Nicene Creed that rejected the Arians belief that the Son of God was separate from God the Father. It is the first authoritative declaration of the principal tenets of the Christian faith. And it is fundamentally wrong. Arius refused to sign the statement of beliefs and was condemned and exiled by Constantine. He issued an imperial edict ordering that all books by Arius should be burned. Anyone caught concealing one of his books would be punished with death.
This was a terrible precedent and sowed the seeds for persecution and totalitarianism. Constantine held a royal banquet and everyone celebrated on the last night of the council. They had spent two long months passionately arguing the nature of Jesus and thought the controversy was ended.
Constantine was, like so many leaders in human history, cruel, ruthless and inhumane. The Christian leaders did not teach him to be the kind of leader God wanted. In fact the Christian leaders themselves applauded his ruthlessness. Constantine was confused. He went back and forth on whether Jesus was God. He changed his mind several times. A few years after he had banished Arius, he invited him to a personal conference and after talking to him decided that Arianism was not heresy. He restored Arius and Arians to their churches. Athanasius protested. Constantine then exiled him for two years. It was not unusual at that time for people to wait to be baptized late in life. On his deathbed Constantine had an Arian baptize him.
Constantine was not the intellectual giant that God needed. Providence (history guided by God) was slowed by him and Christian leaders.
There was confusion after he died. His three sons divided the empire among themselves. Typical of the brutality of ancient times they did primitive and brutal things like kill some members of their own family who they mistrusted. Then the three brothers fought each other. One son, Constans, favored Athanasius. He was killed in a war as was another brother in his part of the empire. That left Constatius. His primary interest was in religious affairs. He became violently Arian. He brought the Christological problem to the forefront. He ordered by force that Arianism prevail. He expelled Athanasius. One historian has written, "ecclesiastics loyal to the Nicene Creed were removed from their churches, sometimes by the violence of mobs; for half a century it seemed that Christianity would be Unitarian, and abandon the divinity of Christ." Athanasius had to flee many times, often in peril of his life and wandered in remote lands.
2. Biblical family -- not a good family man
The second thing Constantine did wrong was violate God's laws for family. He was a terrible family man. He killed some of the members of his own family such as his first wife and their son. He was not supposed to be brutal. God wanted His heroes to have the highest ethical standards. God had the Israelites act what we would call barbaric at times, but with Christians He wanted force to be used only defensively and then to love the defeated enemy and help them. When America helped Japan and Europe rebuild after WWII instead of seeking vengeance as the Allies did on Germany in WWI with the Treaty of Versailles, was God's way.
3. Biblical Government
The third thing Constantine and other Christian leaders failed to understand was how to use force. They became aggressors and rammed their ideology down the throats of others. A pattern in history we often see is Satan's tactic of using religious leaders to influence government leaders to use violence against what they perceive as heretics. God wants freedom of religion as well as other freedoms such as those stated in the United States Constitution. History is the story of brutal leaders dominating their people with the sword. The Bible says, "Love is patient." Satan thinks differently. Many times leaders use force with a motivation to do good. Satan tricks leaders and many people to believe that initiating force against peaceful minorities is good. The Shakespeare quote about how Satan can quote scripture for his purposes is true. One of the ways Satan gets Christians to do harm to non-violent minorities is to whisper in the ears of Christians that they should act like those in the Old Testament, but Jesus came with a higher understanding and lifestyle than those in the Old Testament.
As soon as the Christians gained power they became even more corrupt than those pagans who had persecuted them for the last three centuries. They not only attacked pagans, but other Christians who differed from them on theology. It's been two thousand years since Jesus walked the earth teaching tolerance and Christians are still attacking and even killing each other. Look at Ireland where Catholics and Protestants murder each other. They even kill each other's children.
Religion and politics are emotional topics. So many fights and wars have been over different ideologies. God wants one ideology. The Messiah brings it. Until God can send the Messiah, He needs people to prepare the world for him. Mankind is so dense and stupid because Satan rules. Satan has had a field day from spirit world manipulating people to go crazy and attack others. Mankind just can't think clearly. And then Satan makes people blame God for the problems. God wants everyone to know the truth so that they can fight Satan. Satan got Cain to kill his brother Abel and he has gotten nations killing each other. Satan whipped up the Christians in the Roman Empire to a frenzy when they got into power. The story of Christians after Constantine is tragic beyond words. They went nuts.
There were murderous riots between Christians over this ideology. Once in the capital of Rome, an historian wrote that when "Constantine ordered the replacement of the orthodox [official named] Paul by the Arian Macedonius, a crowd of Pauls supporters resisted the soldiery, and three thousand persons lost their lives. Probably more Christians were slaughtered by Christians in these two years (342-3) than by all the persecutions of Christians by pagans in the history of Rome." One historian wrote, "In spite of isolated cases of persecution an atmosphere of tolerance generally prevailed." Gibbon wrote, "The flames of the Arian controversy consumed the vitals of the empire." One writer wrote at the time, "the enmity of the Christians toward each other surpassed the fury of savage beasts against man." They became fanatics for their religion and denied freedom because they felt were saving souls and the world.
Gibbon wrote that he had the "melancholy truth" and "melancholy duty" to say that although Christians have been persecuted "it must still be acknowledged that the Christians, in the course of their intestine dissension's, have inflicted far greater severities on each other than they had experienced from the zeal of infidels." Gibbon writes that Christians killed Christians in the middle ages and the Protestant Reformation. "From the twelfth to the sixteenth century, ... the church of Rome defended by violence the empire" ... "disgraced by the proscriptions, wars, massacres..." Used "fire and the sword"... "fury of contending sects" ... "the number of Protestants who were executed in a single province and a single region [during the Protestant Reformation] far exceeded that of the primitive martyrs in the space of three centuries of the Roman Empire."
Before Constantine, Diocletian ruled with an iron hand. He increased the bureaucracy and created a regimented economy. He fixed prices and wages, hoping to check inflation. This did not work and never has. He had extreme regulation. He created a socialist state. He wanted a military state and he created one that looked like the former Soviet Union. He made the imperial office sacred and mysterious.
Diocletian felt called to turn to totalitarianism because the barbarians were at the gate and it was an emergency. The truth is that the barbarians were at the gate because of internal problems. They are not the problem. Leaders look to others for the cause of problems when often if there is a problem it is their fault. He made taxes so high that one historian wrote that a negative atmosphere was created for entrepreneurs and creative work. Sadly, this caused "an erosive contest began between lawyers finding devices to evade taxes and lawyers formulating laws to prevent evasion. Thousands of Romans, to escape the tax gatherer, fled over the frontiers to seek refuge among the barbarians."
Diocletian established elaborate ritual in his court. Satan was working to destroy Rome. His low level leaders were despots with absolute power who were ruthless masters over millions of subjects.
Finally, the people rebelled with civil wars. Constantine fought his way to power. It was darkest before the dawn. Diocletian tried to persecute the Christians too. But over the centuries they had grown to be powerful even though they were a minority. God wanted Constantine to reduce centralized control because God wanted freedom but Constantine didnt. One historian writes that Constantine "carried on most of Diocletian policies. He strengthened the armies, tightened bureaucratic control, further regimented the Roman economy and populace, and took even more power into his own hands. Through his efforts the absolutist, bureaucratic, militaristic state was given permanent form."
In 303, Diocletian "decreed the destruction of all Christian churches, the burning of Christian books, the dissolution of Christian congregations, the confiscation of their property, the exclusion of Christians from public office and the punishment of death for Christians detected in religious assembly. A band of soldiers began by burning to the ground the cathedral at Nicomeia."
The "Christians were now numerous enough to retaliate." Later Diocletian ordered that if they would worship the Roman gods the imprisoned Christians would be freed. Those who refused "would be subjected to every torture known to Rome." This persecution lasted for eight years. Approximately 1500 Christians were killed. Thousands of Christians recanted in this reign of terror. Those that were martyred won converts. Sympathy of the pagan population was stirred against this most ferocious oppression in Roman history. "Many pagans risked death to hide or protect Christians until the storm passed." In 311 Galerius took control and issued an edict of toleration, recognizing Christianity as a lawful religion. "The Diocletian persecution was the greatest test and triumph for the Church. One Church historian, Tertullian, said, "The blood of martyrs is seed." Christians finally won. Never had there been so much confusion in Rome than when Diocletian stepped down.
An historian writes, "The absolutist state, which Diocletian and Constantine had hoped would be able to meet all problems, became a monster consuming the wealth of the empire and killing the spirit of its subjects. The bureaucracy grew costly, corrupt and inefficient. Rigid control of the economy killed off economic expansion and deepened into depression."
Diocletian organized a special force of revenue police to examine every mans property and income. These agents even tortured mens wives and children to make them reveal any hidden wealth or earnings of the household.
Many business owners gave up and turned to be hired laborers. Thousands fled over the border to seek refuge among the barbarians. By the time Rome was attacked many citizens felt the invading tribes were not much worse than being in the grip of the Roman totalitarian state.
One historian wrote that "Arianism, overcome within the Empire, won a peculiar victory; among the barbarians." Peculiar? Fallen man is blind to the influence of spirit world. This is why there is the popular expression, God works in mysterious ways. Knowing the Divine Principle helps us to see the laws of the universe which give us the tools to judge correctly. Historians dont know how God is intervening and influencing history. They do not know that He does not use force to initiate proselytizing even though we are to use force in defense of ourselves, but then we are to love our enemy and not crush him like the allies did in WWI against Germany, but help them as they did in WW11. God wants free enterprise and decentralized control. He is more interested in communities than in headquarters.
One historian wrote, "As other barbarians received their Christianity in the fourth and fifth centuries from the Goths [German tribes], nearly all the invaders of the Empire were Arians and the new kingdoms established by them in the Balkans, Gaul, Spain, Italy and Africa were officially Arian."
Gibbons The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was an indictment of the institutional church. He was outraged at their religious intolerance and warfare. Christian leaders in England were upset at him for attacking the Church. But Gibbon was blind to how God was working. He was critical of Christianity for being part of the problem of Rome's decline. He is correct in that but he was wrong in seeing Athanasius as a great Christian a hero. He didnt see that divine intervention was on the side of Arius. Gibbon was controversial. There was intense reaction against him for criticizing Christianity. Leaders do not like being criticized, but human history is the history of the failure of leadership. Almost every leader for God has not done the right thing and God feels towards them as Jesus excoriated them in Matt. 23: "you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves." The road to hell has been paved with good intentions by religious and political leaders who have done more harm than good.
Gibbon wrote that he had the duty of discovering "the inevitable mixture of error and corruption which [religion] contacted in a long residence upon earth, among a weak and degenerate race of beings" and of remembering that "truth and reason" rarely triumph easily in this world. He criticized Constantine for being brutal such as when he killed some members of his own family like his first wife and their son. God did not want his leaders to be cruel.
He wrote, "I have purposefully refrained from describing the particular sufferings and deaths of the Christian martyrs. a long series of horrid and disgusting pictures, and to fill many pages with racks and scourges, with iron hooks and red-hot bed, and all the variety of tortures which fire and steel, savage beasts, and more savage executioners, could inflict on the human body."
One historian wrote, "The persecution of Christians by pagan emperors was never so bloody as the subsequent persecution of heretics and schismatics by Christians, once Constantine had pledged to support the zeal of the Church with the sword of the state."
Gibbon wrote of the Christians, "The Roman world was oppressed by a new species of tyranny."
One book wrote, "Gibbon made no effort to find a neat and brief formula that would adequately explain the actions of many millions of people over a period of several centuries." The Divine Principle has that formula which is greater than the formula E=mc2 because it is the spiritual formula that makes human history make sense. We can see Gods hand working as much with people as we do with the laws of science for things.
One historian wrote that no one has yet found "any consistent theory of historical development." The Divine Principle gives a "consistent" and logical view of history showing that mankind is slowly progressing to God's goal of an ideal world.
When Christianity was young and a minority in the Roman Empire they were being guided by Satan to create an ideology that would become so corrupted that it could never dominate the earth. The most important revelation Satan gave Christian leaders and thinkers is the "mystery" of the Trinity. God had worked to strengthen the churches so that after three centuries of living in Italy they had become a powerful ministry. It is often darkest before the dawn and Satan inspired Diocletian to create a totalitarian state in 300 A.D. and to persecute Christians as well. But Christianity was too strong by then and God was able to inspire the Roman people to overthrow him. Then Constantine was converted. Sadly he plunged Rome deeper into darkness.
God wanted Constantine and the Christian leaders to unite on a clear, true ideology and begin the building of a safe, powerful nation that would then use persuasion, not force, to convert the rest of the world. Instead, it went all wrong. God wants His champions to be like Jesus. They are supposed to fight the good fight fairly.
God's leader is supposed to love as God loves. He was to be pure and patient and truly feel for God, Jesus and people. Secondly, he was to have honor and intellect. God is a god of science and laws of common sense. God's people are supposed to love learning. Satan loves illiteracy and superstition. Ignorance is not bliss. Knowledge is power and Satan doesn't want Christians to have knowledge. God wants a balance between the spiritual and physical. We need to live on this physical earth and so must create food, clothing, shelter, transportation, books and entertainment. But we need to build and organize ourselves with God's laws of politics, law, economics and science. Satan is for poverty and inefficiency.
God's chosen people are to show the world perseverance and hard work to witness, teach and persuade, advertise and get their friends to build prosperous, beautiful and loving communities.
Constantine and other Christian leaders failed to do any of these things. He continued the totalitarianism of Diocletian. He had high taxes, and he persecuted pagans. He kept people tied to their occupations and wouldn't let them change jobs. He used force to freeze wages and prices. It didn't work. God wanted him to restore the republic. God wanted democracy like in the Greek city-states of Athens.
When Christianity got control after three centuries of being dominated, they went against God's will by dominating others and even each other.
The greatest debate in the centuries after they gained power was over the nature of God and Jesus. Satan's spokesman was Athanasius. God picked Arius.
One pagan wrote at the time what many felt about the arrogance of Christian thought: "It is silly to suppose that when God, like a cook, brings the fire, the rest of mankind will be roasted, and only the Christians will remain not merely the living ones, but those who died long ago, rising from the earth ... really, it is the hope of worms! ... It is only the simpletons, the ignoble, the senseless ... whom Christians can persuade ... the most uneducated and common men." These criticisms of traditional Christian thought are justified.
The reason the Roman people were upset at Christians was their contempt of everyone else, and they often did not seem patriotic. Romans hated pacifists and many Christians were so otherworldly and some so unpatriotic that they saw them as a danger within.
When there was persecution of them, usually they would not have been tortured or killed if they simply would have said to the court that they would worship the gods or recant their belief. Some did and then continued quietly to be believers until the storm blew over, which it usually did. But some would not. Often their family members would cry outside the jail and beg them to say whatever the court wanted so they could go home, but some just couldn't do it and became martyrs. Many were so strong in their faith that they caused some to convert and many others to respect their dedication.
Tertullian was one of the most famous of early Christian writers. He defended Christians in The Apology of Tertullian as being good citizens and explains all the false ideas and what is really true about them to help teach against the rumors and wild stories about the Christians. He said there should be complete religious toleration. We have made a similar effort to defend Rev. Moon and his movement from the false view given by its critics in our books. (www.DivinePrinciple.com)
The struggle over Jesus nature lasted more than half a century. Arianism prevailed for most of the time. Theodocius (379-395) extinguished it as a political power in the empire.
Athanasius had been exiled five times, but was finally triumphant and was made Patriarch of Alexandria. Theodocius in 380 dismissed the Arians in the churches and in 381 he made the Nicene Creed universally imposed. He dealt harshly with Arians. This was the death blow to Arianism in the Empire so God had to move on to another people to create a world power and base for the coming messiah to use. Without Gods focus Rome declined quickly. After Theodocius, the Empire was permanently split in two. He was the last emperor to rule over a unified Roman Empire.
Alaric, head of the Visigoths, pillaged Rome for three days in 410. This effectively ended the Roman Empire. Alaric was an Arian.
Christians in the Roman Empire were shocked at the sack of Rome. They questioned whether they were to blame. Pagans blamed the Christians. To counter this Augustine wrote The City of God, the first major philosophy of history written. One historian wrote, "Pagans everywhere attributed the disaster to Christianity. ...Many Christians were shaken in their faith. Augustine felt the challenge deeply. He defended Christianity saying Rome had been punished not for her new religion but for her continued sins. He described the indecency of the pagan stage, and quoted Cicero on the corruption of Roman politics." But Augustine was wrong. Moral and political decay played a part, but Christian infighting was the fundamental reason Rome fell. The Roman Empire was the world power for three centuries. It took one century to fall. If Christians had done Gods will and handled power correctly instead attacking Pagans who were in the majority and won them peacefully through persuasion instead of using violence and then killing each other more than the Pagans had killed them, and if they would have understood that political power should be decentralized and had taught Constantine and his successors that high taxes and regulation destroy the economy then Rome would have become even greater than it had in the past and gone on to convert the world. The movement of ideas was easy throughout the world then because of the Roman roads and its fast postal service. Augustine had no understanding that Christians were the major cause of the fall of the Roman Empire, and he set in motion by his influential writings a distaste for things of this world which only made matters worse. He taught and Christendom listened when he said that all "business" is evil because of its "turning men from seeking true rest, which is God." The church became unsympathetic to commerce and suspicious of profit.
Augustine was wrong
Augustine is one of the most influential writers of Christianity. His book City of God is one of the classics of Western thought. By knowing the Divine Principle we can see that he incorrectly led Christians down a road of concentrating too much on the spirit and not enough on the physical. His book is not about building the Kingdom of heaven on earth and he is wrong in defending Christianity as having no involvement in the fall of Rome. One book says, "From Charlemagne onward, the Holy Roman Empire was inspired by a misreading of Augustines City of God. Many people felt that he had planned the establishment of a Kingdom of God on this earth, in the form of a Christian renewal of the Empire of ancient Rome. This was not really his intent; Augustines was an other worldly ideal, a distinction of two kinds of men, and two societies which would never be formally institutionalized in the course of time. After the Last Judgment, they were to be separated in Heaven and Hell." This we know is incorrect.
We read, "At the time that Augustine began to write the City of God, Rome was crumbling before the advances of the hordes from the north. Many of these invaders were Christians,partisans of the Arian heresy. To the old-line, pagan families of patrician Rome, Christianity was loomed as an insidious threat from within, and an open danger fromoutside the Empire. Various people, including the important Roman official Marcellinus, brought this charge to the attention of the Bishop of Hippo [Augustine]. It was widely rumored that Christianity had become a corroding influence to the Pax Roman. Supporters of the old paganism welcomed the opportunity to attack the spread of Christianity."
"In the year 413 Augustine set to work to write a reply to this charge." In the City of God he blames the pagans for the fall of Rome. There is some truth to this. Christians had brought a higher morality, but Charlemagne did more harm than good.
The Fall of the Roman Empire by Michael Grant
Michael Grant writes in The Fall of the Roman Empire: "The fall of the Roman Empire has always been regarded as one of the most significant transformations in the whole of human history. A hundred years before it happened, Rome was an immense power, defended by an immense army. A hundred years later, power and army had vanished. There was no longer any Western Empire at all. Its territory was occupied by a group of German kingdoms."
The Principle explains in the "Parallels of History" that the hundred years from Constantine to Theodocius were critical for Rome. They failed to be true Christians and lost their empire. God shifted His focus from the Romans to the Germans. Professor Grant does not know this. He is one the most distinquised and respected authorities on the Roman Empire, but without knowing God's providence, he can only see partial truth.
He goes on to say, "This book, being about those ancient happenings, does not try to describe modern ones, and although in writing about that ancient world I have frequently cited the acute problems that surround us today, I do not aspire to suggest how, in detail, they should be solved. Nevertheless I hope and believe that the reader will feel impelled to conclude that the Roman experience provides sharp and relevant guidance towards their solution. If such a conclusion is reached, it will be nothing new." Grant says he does not know how to use the lessons of Rome's fall so that America will not fall. Sun Myung Moon boldly and confidently teaches what America must do.
Grant continues: "For it has been frequently and strongly felt, through the ages, that this monumental collapse carries permanent lessons and warnings to be heeded by the other great commonwealths which have come after the ancient Romans. And indeed, the collapse of one of the mightiest civilizations that has ever been known can scarcely fail to be relevant to every one its successors."
"This relevance has not diminished as age has followed age. The downfall of that earlier Western world deserves the keenest and most meticulous study by its direct heir, the Western world of today. For we can scarcely flatter ourselves that our own social, political and cultural system is still at its height and prime. It seems to have reached a climacteric. But how near is it to collapse? Perhaps quite near, as energy crises and other menaces to stability pressingly suggest. Perhaps not so near after all." The future of America as well as that of the world depends on how fast they live by the principles taught in the revelations of Rev. Moon. If Rome would have done as Jesus wanted they would have grown to even greater heights of power and influence. The hope of the world is the Messiah. He is the leader we must follow. If we reject him, we reject God. If we reject God, we reject the truth that will save us from Mankind's enemy, Satan.
Grant writes, "When we look for correspondences with the Roman story which is the theme of this book -- the story which reaches its end in 476 -- what date, approximately, do we seem to have come to? 395, or 405, or 429? The question should, perhaps not be posed in quite that form, since history does not repeat itself exactly. Nevertheless, the feeling that we are somewhere within that range of years persists. Whatever stage of the process we have reached, it is important that we should observe the disintegration of Rome. For not only was this a most dramatic and memorable process, but it shows us some of the fatal mistakes which we ourselves can avoid in the future." In the Principle we learn that the division is 392 when Theodocius made Christianity the State religion. On the surface this may sound like a good thing. His motivation was right, but he actually sabotaged Rome from being God's champion because he used the power of the State to persecute those who did not conform to his definition of Christianity. It was not God's will to use coercion. Without knowing the Divine Principle we see through a glass darkly. Professor Grant sees some truth, but with Sun Myung Moon's teachings we have the answers to the fundamental questions of life. And one of those questions is: Why did Rome fall? Fallen man has many theories because he sees through man's eyes, but with the Messiah we get the absolute truth because we see through God's eyes.
Professor Grant continues saying, "Hundreds of reasons have been suggested for the collapse of the Roman West. Some indication of their variety can be obtained from reading Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline of the Roman Empire. He lists at least two dozen supposed causes of that decline and fall -- military, political, economical and psychological. Many of these 'causes' will be referred to in the pages that follow. But the historian himself made made no attempt to marshal them one against another, or choose between them. That is rather disconcerting for the reader who is searching for quick answers. But it also shows a good deal of prudence. For an enormous, complex institution like the Roman Empire could not have been obliterated by any single, simple cause."
"It was brought down by two kinds of destruction: invasions from outside, and weaknesses that arose within. The invasions are easy to identify .... However, they are not sufficiently formidable in themselves to have caused the Empire to perish."
"It perished because of certain internal flaws which prevented resolute resistance to the invaders .... I have identified thirteen defects which, in my view, combined to reduce the Roman Empire to final paralysis. They display a unifying thread: the thread of disunity. Each defect consists of a specific disunity which split the Empire wide apart, and thereby damaged the capacity of the Romans to meet external aggressions. Heaven forbid that we ourselves should have a monolithic society without any internal disunities at all, or any differences of character or opinion. But there can arrive a time when such differences become so irreconcilably violent that the entire structure of society in imperiled. That is what happened among the ancient Romans. And that is why Rome fell."
Grant is right that the cause of all problems is disunity. The most fundamental one is a disunity between mankind and God and therefore between mankind and the Messiah. Grant does not know this basic fact. Everything revolves around the leadership of the Messiah and God's messengers. He also has fallen man's fear of absolute unity. God's goal is an ideal world of no internal disunities. It is monolithic. There are no differences in "character or opinion." At least of the basic fundamental questions. There will be incredible creativity in the Kingdom of Heaven because people are not divided over what are the values we live by. Grant does not know that everyone will be united in agreeing that Jesus is the Messiah. He is ready to settle for a certain degree of unity -- enough unity to keep society from falling apart, but he doesn't know that God wants a lot more unity than that.
Let's continue looking at what Grant has to say: "This theme has its modern dimension also. For on investigation it seems to emerge that, in spite of the inevitable changes of conditions between that time and this, Rome actually suffered from very similar disunities to those which are racking the Western world today. And so their identification assumes an additional, special urgency. However, I have not attempted to flag or discuss every parallel, every similarity. Some are self-evident, others I have pointed out, but in the main I thought it best to leave it to the reader to perceive current directions and deteriorations, and to appraise their impact on today's world."
This is a weak man speaking here. Sun Myung Moon and all of God's messengers speak with confidence. There is nothing wishy washy about Rev. Moon. This scares fallen man who wants his cake and eat it too. Somehow we are to have enough unity to build a great empire where there is order, peace, creativity and lasts forever while at the same time not be "monolithic." The only way anything will last forever is because it is in line with absolute truth. Grant does not know that Satan and God are both whispering in his ear. Grant is the leading authority on the fall of Rome and sadly cannot speak boldly and teach what America and the world must do so that we not only don't fall, but grow to greater heights of greatness.
Even so, he does have a few good points in the middle of his mush. His views on Augustine are right on target. He says that Augustine believed that everyone who wasn't the kind of Christian he was will "be tormented for ever in hell-fire. For him, as for the Emperors, there could only be one single church. And those who stayed outside it, however eloquently they might call themselves Christians, were outside the Body of Christ."
"Initially, Augustine had rejected the use of force against heretics, as he rejected it in the first place against pagans as well. But later, after prolonged thought, he changed his mind, because 'he had learnt their potential wickedness, and how they could benefit from discipline'. So he came round to a belief in coercion, convincing himself, as he had convinced himself about the pagans, that the state must be called in to compel them to conform. For this forcible method, he now explained, was really like giving medicine to an unwilling patient -- and could therefore even be described as a true work of love: 'loving with severity' was better than 'deceiving with indulgence', and Emperors, with all their array of repressive resources, could serve God in a way which private citizens could not emulate. In a letter to Vincentius, bishop of Tenes in Algeria, he enlarged on the reasons for this altered attitude. ... 'For originally my opinion was that no one should be coerced into the unity of Christ, that we must act only by words, fight only by arguments, and prevail by force of reason, lest we should have those whom we knew to be avowed heretics feigning themselves to be Catholics.'"
"'... But this opinion of mine was overcome not by the words of those who controverted it, but by the conclusive instance to which they could point. For in the first place, there was set over against my opinion my own town which, although it was once wholly on the side of Donatism, was brought over to Catholic unity by the fear of the imperial edicts. I was made to own that to this matter the word of Scripture might be understood as applying: 'Give opportunity to a wise man and he will become wiser.' But 'opportunity' was nothing better than a euphemism for violent suppression."
"Later, in the City of God, Augustine added the paradoxical justification that those who could really claim to be victimized were not the heretics at all but the faithful who were their persecutors -- because the very existence of such evil-doers caused loyal Christians to 'suffer persecution, not in their bodies but in their hearts'. Hence the psalmist says, 'According to the multitudes of sorrows in my heart' -- not 'in my body'."
"But this did not help the heretics, whom the government, agreeing on political grounds with Augustine's theological arguments for compulsion, was now using force to bring into line."
"This systematic, active intolerance was something hitherto unknown in the Mediterranean world. It reflected the growth of dogma, which in turn reflected a decline of rational intellectual activity."
"And now Augustine had placed himself in the forefront of this intolerant movement. Because of his eloquence and influence, he has been declared the Prince and Patriarch of Persecutors. He has also been denounced as the forerunner and first theorist of the Spanish Inquisition. It is only fortunate that, since he lived across the sea in North Africa, he was not in a central enough position to make himself the Grand Inquisitor of the whole Roman world. But even so, the damage done by the coercion he favoured and encouraged was great. Voltaire and Gibbon were right to blame the hostility between Christian and Christian, as well as between Christian and Pagan, for helping to bring down the Empire."
I agree. Augustine and coercive Christians like him have caused great "damage" to God's providence.
In Grant's book, History of Rome, he wrote that some emperors were "tolerant to 'heretics' within the Christian ranks as to pagans outside them." But he says Theodocius was one of the worst. He says, "especially Theodocius I, who issued repeated laws and edicts against nonconformist Christians. And Augustine, brooding on his own earlier spiritual deviations, concluded that Christian heretics as well as pagans must be brought into the fold by force. He quoted the scriptural text; 'give opportunity to a wise man and he will become wiser.' But 'opportunity' was only a euphemism for violent suppression; and it was in the same spirit that Pope Leo I later declared that 'truth, which is simple and one, does not admit of variety.' Manichaeans and Jews, too, continued to fare much worse under the Christian emperors than under their pagan predecessors. But persecution, as always, deepened rather than closed the rifts and made the united loyalty, which the empire so desperately needed, even more of a will-o'-the-wisp than ever."
"Moreover, the psychological attitudes of pagans and Christians alike were equally unhelpful to the government in its unsuccessful struggle to insure national survival. The pagans, on the whole, relied too complacently on the glories of the past; and the Christian theologians preached doctrines that deprecated the importance of serving the state."
Many Christians have misunderstood that God and Jesus are not pacifists and otherworldly. Grant goes on to rightly criticize the Christian church for weakening people's patriotism and sense of civic responsibilities. He writes, "The great Christian theologians, on the other hand, men of superior brains and character who in earlier times would have joined the public service instead of the church, were often guilty of a different but equally serious disservice to the state, namely, the active discouragement of Christians from working on its behalf, either in a peaceful or a warlike capacity. This attitude, easily justifiable from the New Testament, had been natural enough in the old days when the civil authorities were engaged in persecuting Christianity. But it is remarkable that, even after the empire had become Christian, the leaders of the church should still persist in their old conviction that Christianity was incompatible with state service. And yet that is what happened: a series of popes continued to pronounce that to work for the government was perilous to a man's soul; and St. Martin of Tours, founder of monasteries in Gaul, asked to be released from the Roman army because he was Christ's soldier and could not fight for his country. When such views took hold of the population, the power of the empire to resist its foes was weakened."
AUGUSTINE UNDERMINES PATRIOTISM
"It was sapped further by Augustine. He was not, it is true, a pacifist; indeed he conceded that a literal interpretation of Christ's saying 'turn the other cheek' would ruin the state. But the massive twenty-two books of his City of God undermined patriotism by more insidious means. In this supreme literary masterpiece of the later Roman empire, from which medieval thinkers derived a large proportion of all they knew about the ancient world, he called up all the resources of pagan philosophy and Christian doctrine alike to make a sharp distinction between the earthly city and its counterpart in heaven. Plato and Paul had told of such ideal cities before, but Augustine, writing soon after Alaric's sack of Rome, described the concept with a vividness that was altogether new. And he infused it with a distinct uphopefulness about the future of any and every terrestrial state. He had felt this before, and now it seemed to him more than ever that Christianity was the crop coming just before the icy frosts of winter -- frosts that would freeze the nations of the world to death."
"True, his 'earthly city,' which contains not only the sinners of this world but unrighteous men and women anywhere in the universe, is a wider concept than the Roman Empire. All the same, Augustine's pessimism carries gloomy implications for the future of Rome's civilization -- or rather, of the human endeavor that was needed to maintain it. His doctrine of grace, adapted from Saint Paul, maintained that by our own unaided will, without God-given aid, human beings are incapable of achieving anything at all. It was a decisive break with the optimistic, humanistic attitudes of the classical world. And it was deeply resented by men such as Pelagius, a British or Irish theologian who, in the spirit of Cicero, laid strong counteremphasis on individual effort. Violent controversies ensued -- and the Pelagians were suppressed."
"Augustine had cut Rome firmly down to size. Its interests could no longer be kept paramount: 'Please pardon us if our country, up above, has to cause trouble to your. ... You would acquire still greater merit if you served a higher fatherland.' And indeed, as he grew older, Augustine came more than ever to reject any identification between Christianity and empire. In terms of world politics, he did not prevail because the identification had come to stay. But his influence was widespread, and his refusal to believe in a Christian empire was a part and parcel of the West's failure to defend itself against its enemies and stave off its own collapse."
Christians not all bad -
did some things to help raise mankind
Christianity did many good things such as expanding charity. It sanctified marriage with a solemn ceremony and elevated it to a sacrament from a contract. Christianity taught higher morals and sexual purity. It was a wholesome influence upon Roman life in many ways. Nevertheless, the cup was less than half empty, and God had to abandon the Roman Christians.
Christianity evolved from simple meetings in private dwellings for a common meal and prayers to services conducted by clergy with elaborate attire and rituals. They started making a complicated theology. God wanted simplicity. As the clergy gained power they turned to government to use force.
God had to abandon his champions, the Roman Christians, because they did not have the right ideology, used violence against others who did not believe as they did, and this caused them to build low standard families. Families cannot be of God if they persecute others. In other words Roman Christians were not of Jesus. Voltaire correctly said of Christians, "Of all religions, Christianity is without doubt the one that should inspire tolerance most,although, up to now, the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men."
When God's champions fail, then God has to move on to others. The Roman Empire failed. Theodocius was the final straw that broke the camel's back. With a combination of rejecting Arianism and being totalitarian, God could not give his blessing on Rome. He turned to the rag tag Germanic tribes. Because God was not on the side of the Roman Empire anymore, they were defeated by a smaller and less sophisticated people.