Thursday, November 24, 2011

Rex Regum in action - Rome and Nea Roma

After Father gave Jesus Christ all authority in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18) He has not been lazily sitting on that glorious throne relaxing and letting people manage things the best they can.

No, on the contrary, Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Kings, has been very busy with His Father's Kingdom and He still is.

One of His fundamental decisions - that required plenty of angel power to realize - has shaped the entire history of Europe in very significant manner and kept His enemies at bay.

He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you,you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Matthew 16:15-18

Note how He says "I will build my church."

This I is what also this blog is all about. Looking from some points of view how Jesus has been building His church.

In this blog it is the double matter of old and new Rome, spiritual and physical realms of His Kingdom.

Two Romes
Firstly, He decided to change old Rome in a way that pretty much resembled the end of the world as it was known to so many people. The new spiritual Rome was different from the old one and is still up and standing ruled from the Seat of Peter in the City state of Vatican.

Secondly, He decided to create a new physical Rome, Nea Roma in Greek, that was to become a major Christian and cultural centre, a crucial fortification against non-Christian attacks on the heartlands of Europe and the seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

At this time the all powerful Empire of Rome had already been divided into Latin speaking Western and Greek speaking Eastern parts. His people were obviously the chosen tools for performing these fundamental changes on the map of Europe and the world. Especially two men, Saint Augustine Bishop of Hippos in West and Emperor Constantine the Great in East.

Within the period of approximately one hundred years from 325 to 455 the earthly Emperor of Western Rome was turned into a Spiritual Father, primus inter pares, the global power seeking Pope and the earthly Emperor of the Eastern Rome was turned into the Supreme ruler of the Church, in a process called Caesar-Papism.

From Emperor to Pope in the West
The shocking crisis of the Sack of Rome 410 was first and foremost a psychological blow to the newly Christianized citizens of the Western Empire. Not few blamed the unprecedented event of Visigoth king Alaric I entering the eternal city to the abandonment of the gods of Rome and the extinguishing of the Fire of Nike in the Temple of Vesta. Surely, this had angered the divine beings and they allowed the barbarians to enter the ancient city deemed invincible.

Knowing this to be coming, Lord Jesus carefully prepared His people to withstand the enormous military, political, social and cultural catastrophe that might otherwise utterly destroy Western Rome and its Christianity. It was, actually, quite a close call.

He did this mighty deed by using a strange weapon - a book.
There is an Aramaic saying -  Sifra saif - Book is a sword. (Aramaic is the mother tongue of Jesus).
De Civitate Dei did the work. "The City of God profoundly shaped Western civilization."  (wikipedia)

From Emperor to Caesar-Pope in the East
Constantine the Great founded Κωνσταντινούπολις Constantinopolis Nea Roma on the strategic spot where Asia and Europe meet on the Bosporus at the site of ancient Byzantium. After six years of building the city was consecrated on 11 May 330. Eighty years before the first sack of Rome by Alarik on August 24, 410.

It rapidly grew to such extent that it was later simply called The City, εις την πόλιν eis tin polin, which in Ottoman Turkish ears sounded like "Istanbul".

To Emperor Constantine's great annoyance those Christians had bloody quarrels about almost everything in their faith.  A strong ruler he was and a strong religion he wanted to unite the Roman empire from inside the hearts of its citizens by religious faith.

In 325 he therefore summoned all those 1800 quarrelling bishops to a council in the city of Nicea (Iznik Turkey). 318 came. They hammered together a Credo that after been complemented by another Council in Constantinople itself in 381 has defined Christianity.

The Emperor called the bishops and they promptly came - who came - and from that time on the Eastern Church has known what is Caesar-Papism.

Emperors, Popes and Patriarchs

Knowing us people He created a strong spiritual City and a strong physical City and gave His people strong rulers.

But Alas! History of Europe is thereafter much influenced by these - not always so humble servants of Christ - to take control of earthly kingdoms as well and to push Emperors and Kings and Presidents under their toes.

After all, is that not what Jesus ment when He said

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Matthew 16:19

Two keys - absolute spiritual power of the Pope, Vicar of Christ, in the Church and absolute earhtly power of the Pope, Vicar of Christ, among the nations.
Isn't that what Jesus meant?

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