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History of the Church History (page 5)

discussed in approximately 325 A.D. at the Nicene Counsel held in Nicaea in Asia Minor. This counsel was held by the Emperor Constantine to settle the dispute caused by the Arian views of the Trinity. Arius was a priest of Alexandria, who believed that Christ is not the same essence as God but of similar substance. The Council adopted the so called Nicene Creed. This declared that God and Christ are of one substance. It was adopted in the following form, but has been amplified since:

Adopted in 325 at the Nicene Counsel is the following: (World Book Encyclopedia)

"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things, both visible and invisible, and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Only begotten of the Father, that is to say, of the substance of the Father, God of God and Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made, both things in heaven and things on earth; who, for us men and for our salvation, came down and was made flesh, was made man, suffered, and rose again on the third day, went up into the heavens, and is to come again to judge both the quick and the dead; and in the Holy Ghost."

With the expanse of the Roman Empire Greek religion and mythology became an influence upon the Church. Christianity became a state religion in 392 under Emperor Theodosius.

During the fourth century there was a growth of superstitions and corruptions in the Church. Great numbers of converts came into it, bringing their old heathen notions with them, and not well knowing what they might expect, but with an eager desire to find as much to interest them in the worship and life of Christians as they had found in the ceremonies and shows of their former religion. And in order that such converts might not be altogether disappointed, the Christian teachers of the age allowed a number of things which soon began to have very bad effects. Augustine complained that in his time (which was about the year 400) ceremonies "were grown to such a number that the estate of Christian people was in worse case concerning that matter than were the Jews." One of the corruptions an excess reverence for saints. This led to the practices of making addresses to them, and of paying superstitious honors to their dead bodies. Another corruption was the improper use of paintings or images. Augustine said, "many of the ignorant are worshippers of pictures."

The ruler of the state run Roman Catholic Church was called a Pope. Pope Gregory I, (590-604), adopted a rule to require all priest to remain celibate, (unmarried). Through the years this has led to many scandals. This celibate policy was not a part of the early church. Peter was married. On one occasion Peter's mother-in-law was healed by Jesus as recorded in Mt. 8:14-15, Mk. 1:29-31 and Luke 4:38-39. Mark, who wrote the book of Mark, is thought to be Peter's son.

The second Nicene Council was called by the Empress Irene in 787. Up until this time the use of images or statues was not allowed in worship of God. The Empress Irene revoked this order. This is when the statutes were allowed of Jesus and Mary. These statues later become an object of worship. In 1950 Pope Pius XII carried this doctrine further by proclaiming the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary to heaven. Now Roman Catholics were to believe that, by her intercession, Mary can obtain many spiritual blessings from her Son. They believe that none are as close to God as the Virgin Mary.

The Roman government launched seven Crusades to teach the world Christianity