Be it resolved: That the Roman Catholic Church Doctrine on the Holy Trinity is found in the Bible.
Affirmative: Tommy Y. Broca (Catholic)
Negative: Armando Macansantos Jr. (Atheist)
Opening statement: 1,500 words (by Mar28)
Rebuttal: 1,500 words (by April 1)
Five questions: 500 words each (Start April 4)
Answers to five questions: 500 words each (answer to 1st: April 7)
Closing statement: 1,500 words
Opening Statement: Affirmative Side
First, I would like to thank Armando for having this debate with me. I will be affirming the position that God is absolutely and indivisibly one. Likewise, I will be affirming the position that this one God who is absolutely and indivisibly one is three Persons.
The way I see it, my task is rather simple: using Scriptures, demonstrate that:
(a) There is only one God
(b) The Father is God
(c) The Son is God
(d) The Holy Spirit is God
(e) The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three distinct Persons
Once I accomplish the above, my job is done.
There’s another thing I would like to point out. Were it to happen that the Negative Side will have an interpretation of a Bible passage different from mine, the matter should be resolved by referring to the Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic original, trying to derive the meaning, first, from its use in other parts of Scripture or its meaning and use at the time as shown by reliable lexicons, preferably Strong’s.
With that said, let me lay down precisely what the Catholic teaching is with regard to the Holy Trinity:
By “Holy Trinity” is meant the one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Three Persons, one God. There is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father Uncreate, the Son Uncreate, and the Holy Spirit Uncreate. The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit Incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Spirit Eternal and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Incomprehensibles, but One Uncreated, and One Uncomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties but One Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord. And yet not Three Lords but One Lord. For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father, and of the Son neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son, not Three Sons; One Holy Spirit not Three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity none is before or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal. So that in all things the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped.
In the course of my discussions, I will be referring to the “Logos,” “Persons,” “Roman Catholic Church” or, simply, “the Church.” Likewise, I will be referring to “doctrine,” “dogma” or “Scripture.” Here are their definitions:
“LOGOS” or ‘WORD” The word Logos is the term by which Christian theology in the Greek language designates the Word of God, or Second Person of the Blessed Trinity
“CHURCH” OR ‘ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH” The visible community of all the faithful, founded by Christ, in which are continued the activities developed by Him during His earthly life for the remission of sin and for the salvation of mankind under the direction of His Spirit until the end of the world by means of a continuous uninterrupted Apostolate ordained by Him, and by which, in the course of time, all peoples will be brought back to God. Thus the visible Church is the Son of God in human form constantly appearing, constantly being renewed, eternally being rejuvenated, just as the faithful in Holy Writ are also called the Body of Christ.
The Church is a union of men united who are united by the profession of the same Christian faith, and by participation in the same Sacraments under the direction of their lawful pastors, especially of the one representative of Christ on earth, the Pope of Rome.
“DOCTRINE” Doctrine is all Church teaching in matters of faith and morals.
“DOGMA” Dogma is more narrowly defined as that part of doctrine which has been divinely revealed and which the Church has formally defined and declared to be believed as revealed.
The Church’s magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these. (CCC 88)
“BIBLE” By “Bible” is meant the Revised Standard Version.
“SCRIPTURE” Sacred Scripture is one of the several names denoting the inspired writings which make up the Old and New Testament
“THE POPE” The bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter, chief of the whole Church, and the Vicar of Christ on earth.
Now,for the Bible proof.
The word “Trinity” is not found in Scripture. It was first used by Tertullian (born around A.D. 160). That doesn’t mean, however, that it wasn’t taught before. Consider, for instance, the Didache.
"After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living [running] water. . . . If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Didache 7:1 [A.D. 70]).
And much less does it mean that the Holy Trinity is not taught in Scripture.
The Trinity formula is the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. So it’s Three Persons in one God. Note that the Father and Jesus are both God but Two different Persons.
Scripture gives abundant proof that the Father and the Son are Two different Persons. One God, yes, but two different Persons. Bible couldn’t be clearer::
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)
Scripture couldn’t be clearer: the Word was WITH God and IS God. We see, therefore, that the Word is a Person, and a distinct Person.
Let’s go over that again: "The word was with God". The preposition "with" expresses that the Word was side by side with God (therefore not in God) and co-ordinated to God (cf. Mk. 9:19). The Word is a different Person from God the Father. This follows from the fact that the Logos was with God, and notably from the identification of the Word with the Only-begotten Son of the Father.
We see that God uses "us" and "our" while referring to Himself. If God is one Person, why does He refer to Himself as if He is more than one?
"And the Lord appeared unto him (Abraham) in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant. Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said." - Genesis 18:1-5
We see that THREE men appeared to Abraham and Abraham called them "My Lord."
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." - Matthew 28:19
This is probably one of the best verses for the dogma of the Trinity. We see that it is ONE name, but THREE different Persons. It says, "The Father," "The Son," "The Holy Spirit." These are not titles, but Persons.
"Modalism asserts that there is only one person in the Godhead, it makes nonsense of passages which show Jesus talking to his Father (e.g., John 17), or declaring he is going to be with the Father (John 14:12, 28, 16:10) One office of a person cannot go to be with another office of that person, or say that the two of them will send the Holy Spirit while they remain in heaven (John 14:16-17, 26, 15:26, 16:13–15; Acts 2:32–33)."
Likewise, take a look at Lk 1:35 “And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
Three Persons are identified: the Most High, the Son of the Most High, and the Holy Spirit..
Or consider the Theophany after the baptism of Jesus Mt 3:126 ff: “And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
Again, three Persons are identified: the Most High, the Son of the Most High, and the Holy Spirit..The speaker is God the Father. Jesus is the Son of God—the words “beloved Son” in Biblical language usually means “the only Son.” (Gen 22:2-12, 16; Mk 12:6). The Holy Spirit makes his appearance under a special symbol as an independent, personal essence side by side with the Father and the Son.
Or consider The Last Supper (John 14:16): “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever,
Three Persons are identified: the Most High, the Son of the Most High, and the Holy Spirit..
The Holy Trinity is most clearly made evident in the command given the Apostles by Jesus in Mt 28:19: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Three Persons are identified: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit..
The Bible verses below should nicely complete the list:
(A) THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD
"the Lord our God is ONE Lord" (Deut 6:4; 4:35,39; 32:39; Mk 12:29)
"I am the Lord and there is no other" (Isa 45:5; 43:10; 44:6,8; etc)
"there is no God besides Me" (2 Sam 7:22; 22:32; Neh 9:6; Jer 10:10-11)
"there is ONE God" (Rom 3:30; 1 Cor 8:6; 1 Tim 2:5; James 2:19)
"there is no other God but ONE" (1 Cor 8:4; Gal 3:20; Eph 4:6)
"the ONLY true [wise] God" (John 17:3; Rom 16:27; 1 Tim 1:17; Jude 25)
(B) THERE ARE “SO-CALLED” GODS THAT ARE NOT REALLY GODS AT ALL.
Jer 10:10-11; Acts 14:11-15; 1 Cor 8:4-6; 2 Cor 4:4; Gal 4:8
(C) THE FATHER IS THE GOD.
Matt 6:9; 11:25; John 17:3; 2 Pet 1:17
(D) THE SON IS THE GOD.
John 1:1ff; 5:18; 8:58; 10:30-33; 20:28; Matt 1:23; Rom 9:5; Col 1:16-17; 2:9; Titus 2:13; Heb 1:8
(E) THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE GOD.
Acts 5:3-4 "lie to the Holy Spirit....lied to GOD"; 2 Cor 3:17 "the Lord is the Spirit"
(F) THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE PERSONAL AND DISTINCT.
Matt 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14; John 14:16; 17:5; etc
Therefore, the ONE GOD is THREE PERSONS, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit according to the Bible.
God is ONE. That much is made very clear by Mk 12:291 Cor 8:4; Eph 4:6; and 1 Tim 2:5. But God is three Persons, where “Person” is a hypostasis endowed with reason, and where “hypostasis” is an individual complete substance existing entirely in itself, an incommunicable substance.
Because of this Unity, the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Son is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son.
Jesus Christ himself tells us in Jn 10:30: “I and the Father are one." As if to make sure we don’t miss the point, Jesus repeats the same thing in Jn 10:38: “but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."
How about the Holy Spirit? The passages cited mention the Father wholly in the Son , and the Son wholly in the Father, but is the Holy Spirit wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son, and vice-versa? The answer is “YES,” as 1 Cor 2:10 ff tells us: “God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. “
This penetration and indwelling of the Three Divine Persons reciprocally in one another is called “Perichoresis.”
With all the Bible passages cited, I am confident that I have established the Biblical support for the concept of the Holy Trinity. The Church has always held this view and has defined it.
NEGATIVE OPENING STATEMENT
Prefatory statement and position of the Negative side:
Some things has to have a beginning, the universe, life, and so with religion, beliefs, doctrines, teachings. The Roman Catholic Church began, with the desire of one man, Constantine the Great, after his victory over Maxentius on the Milvian bridge, from whence, he eventually became the Emperor of the Eastern and Western domain and ruled as the Sumus Princeps Maximus, or the Supreme Roman Emperor, of the crumbling Roman empire. The of his rise into power and influence was not total, for it was marred by moral decline amongst the populace that was brought about by multicultural differences of its people. Traditionally all emperors of the Roman Empire was seen to be and looked after by them as their living God, the Caesars’ of Rome. With the decline of Nero, and Caligula, the populace sought after many other gods, and goddesses to pay homage to. Constantine himself was a pagan, and worship the Sun God, Sol Invictus, even right to his death bed.
He surmised that there was a need to conserve the former unity of the Roman People, and the only way was to form a uniting force behind his military and governing power, and that the answer a new religion! The incursion of the teaching of the man called Jesus of Nazareth, made an inroad into the Empire. They were followers of the man whom they have killed on a cross, deemed a criminal, eventually made him their god.
Constantine and with his close friend Eusebius, and others, decided to hold and official gathering in Nicaea of all presbyters and teachers of all known pagan religion to discus the formation of the new religion, now known as the Council of Nicaea 325 A.D. That was only organized, after Constantine proclaimed the Edict of Milan only a few year earlier in 313 A.D. After so many years of deliberation, and choosing their religion among so many god/ gds/ goddesses, the voted on Jesus Christ the Nazarene to be their new god. Having no basis for the new religion Constantine ordered Eusebius to collect and compile whatever record that the followers of Jesus had in their hands. With the help of Alexander the Patriarch of Alexandria and Origen was able to produce fifty copies of their translations and transliterations into Latin Vulgate Bible, eventually translated into English version after the Reformation Period. It was also in this Council of Nicaea that they concocted the first doctrine of God the Father, and the Son. Eventually, the person of the Holy Spirit was included, after later deliberation the cardinal principle of the Holy Trinity was invented and canonized. The new religion that was officially declared as the official religion of the roman Empire, but Emperor Theodosius I, on February 27, 380 A.D.
Thus, the word “HOLY TRINITY” of a mention of a ‘TRUNE GOD” can not be found IN ANY chapters, passage, verse in either the Old or New testaments. It simply is because the Doctrine was concocted and made by men known today in the Roman Catholic History as Holy Church Fathers, most of which were Romans and former pagans and idolaters of the Roman Empire.
The English word Trinity is derived from Latin Trinitas, meaning "the number three, a triad".This abstract noun is formed from the adjective trinus (three each, threefold, triple), as the word unitas is the abstract noun formed from unus (one).
The corresponding word in Greek is Τριάς, meaning "a set of three" or "the number three".
The first recorded use of this Greek word in Christian theology (though not about the Divine Trinity) was byTheophilus of Antioch in about 170. He wrote:
"In like manner also the three days which were before the luminaries, are types of the Trinity [Τριάδος], of God, andHis Word, and His wisdom. And the fourth is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, the Word, wisdom, man." Tertullian a Latin theologian who wrote in the early 3rd century, is credited with using the words "Trinity","person" and "substance"[ to explain that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are "one in essence—not one in Person".
The First Council of Nicaea established the doctrine of the Trinity as orthodoxy and adopted the Nicene Creed, which described Christ as "God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance (homoousios) with the Father".
From the Council of Nicaea, to Theodosius I, all other preaching different religion, other that Roman Catholicism and its canon, were called heretics were killed, and their teachings heresy and documents record simply vanished into thin air!
These exterminations and persecutions extended to the Crusades, the Dark Ages, Holy Tribunal and dreaded Holy Inquisition. In other words…THE CROSS OR THE SWORD!
The Bible is a story of a Creator of the Universe and his relationship with humanity. The story begins with the account of God creating the universe and the first human known to all of us as "Adam." The Bible is the account of humanity's relationship to God and how God is redeeming humankind through his Son Jesus Christ and bringing all things into perfection. The most important and significant character of the story of God and humanity is the Supreme Being Creator known most commonly to English speakers as "God." The character "God" is mentioned thousands of times in this story. God is the main character of the Bible.
The confessed God of Trinitarians is a three person God. And the most interesting thing about their God is that this alleged three person being is not once mentioned in the entire story of God and humanity. The three person God is never described anywhere in pages of the Scriptures. This God is ignored,
neglected, forgotten, overlooked, disregarded, unheard-of, unmentioned, unacknowledged, unconfessed, and non-existent on the pages of the Bible. This three person God is nowhere disclosed anywhere on those pages. Yet Trinitarians themselves insist that their doctrine of a three person God is the most central doctrine of the Christian faith.
Is it not just a little bit crazy to claim the main character of the Bible is an identity who is never once mentioned or confessed in the entire Bible where God is the main character and mentioned thousands of times? One can search from the first page to the last and never find one mention of a three person God. Although God is mentioned thousands of times on the pages of the Bible, not once is God identified as a three person being. The Trinitarian three person God is nowhere to be found in the Bible.
Of course, the Trinitarian thinks in his own mind he does have evidence. But where is this evidence of a three person God in the Scriptures? It is nowhere to be found. This three person God concept was created by men. Perhaps this is the reason the Jews had never conceived of a three person God? Although this three person God is not confessed anywhere in the Scriptures, this fact does not seem to bother the Trinitarian. It rarely occurs to him, if ever, that he could be worshiping a God that does not even exist - a false god, an idol. Indeed, most Trinitarians will not even allow themselves to entertain the possibility.
The concept of a three person God for the Trinitarian does not begin on the pages of Scripture since he simply cannot find a three person God reported anywhere therein. Rather, his three person God begins as an idea in his own mind. His God is created and fashioned; it is built as one builds an idol. The Bible is a very large book. One can create almost any concept if he picks and chooses ideas from its pages. So the Trinitarian begins with an idea of his creation in his mind and then travels through the pages of Scripture looking for building materials to make his God. And when he has collected enough building materials to satisfy himself, he creates his own god with his collected materials.
Such a doctrine did not exist until around the end of the fourth century.
The historical facts show the doctrine of the Trinity was a developed concept over two centuries of debating the issue. This reveals quite plainly to thinking people that this teaching was not something handed down by the apostles. This plain fact is devastating to Trinitarian claims. And so, for Trinitarians, these historical facts are quite simply..... denied. An imaginary account of history is much more congenial to their doctrine: Revisionist History.
Trinitarians feel much better pretending to themselves, and to others, that the doctrine of the Trinity was something believed and taught by the apostles and henceforth passed on to the Christians who lived immediately thereafter and so on and so on. Even though they have absolutely no proof that this is the case, and even though the facts indicate otherwise, this is what they want to believe. And that is what they need to believe. Because if that is not the case, their doctrine is found to be a fairy tale developed by wayward men of the fourth century. Unfortunately for them, the facts of history reveal otherwise. And that is something which calls for outright denial of the historical facts on the part of Trinitarians. They simply must deny that their three person God was forgotten by the early church if indeed this teaching has been taught by the Apostles.
Rebuttal: Affirmative Side
I would like to begin my rebuttal by calling attention to the title page of Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code.” The title page says: “The Da Vinci Code: A Novel,” meaning I am making this rebuttal against issues raised IN A NOVEL! For, indeed, “The Da Vinci Code” is where my opponent got the arguments which I’m now giving my rebuttal to.
Likewise, I’d like to point out the contents of the page right after the Acknowledgment in that Dan Brown book. Written there is what Dan Brown insists are “facts,” suggesting that everything else in that novel is FICTION, not much different than if my opponent were arguing the case for Godzilla or KingKong.
Next, I’d like to point out that our topic is very clear: all discussions in this debate should take off from the Bible as the reference point. With not even one Bible passage cited by my opponent, his opening statement becomes an epic fail, and I have nothing to rebut!
Purely for the sake of the truth, therefore, and in order that readers will not be misled, I will address each point raised by my opponent in his non-opening statement.
My opponent made a number of claims.
Claim # 1 The Roman Catholic Church began, with the desire of one man, Constantine the Great.
Fact: The Church was a flourishing community which has managed to spread from Jerusalem to other lands touched by the Mediterranean Sea by the time Constantine was born. Proof of this is the use by Constantine of the Christ’s symbol “chi-rho” on his soldiers’ standards. The claim by my opponent that the Church began with Constantine the Great is simply hilarious.
Constantine wrote a letter to his proconsul Aelianus. In that letter, Constantine averred that he would not rest easy until everyone worshipped “the most Holy God.. in the rites of the Catholic religion.”(3) I’d like to ask the readers: Does that sound like Constantine is just starting a new religion?
Claim # 2 The Roman Empire was crumbling during the time of Constantine. That is why Constantine had to invent a new religion to unite the empire and check its crumbling.
Fact: The decline of the Roman Empire was one that was gradual and exceedingly slow, occurring over a period of four centuries, and culminating on September 4, 476 when Odoacer sacked Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire. My opponent gives the impression of a panic on the part of Constantine, about he had to hurry, otherwise the empire might crumble under his feet. This is, quite simply, not true.
Claim # 3 “Constantine himself was a pagan, and worship the Sun God, Sol Invictus, even right to his death bed.”
Fact: Here’s Philvaz to debunk this claim:
“Constantine the Great converted to Christianity in 312 which is "now almost universally acknowledged"; painted the Christian monogram on his army's shields; opposed the persecution of Christians; practiced forbearance toward Christians, signed an edict of religious tolerance for Christians, and issued mandates restoring rights and property to Christians; published decrees giving religious freedom to all; built several Christian basilicas and churches; restored Christian property; aided the bishops and became involved in all affairs of the Church; supported Christian communities, parishes, kingdoms; held Christian synods and councils; a statue of himself and silver coins were decorated with the Christian monogram; he read the Scriptures and organized Christian religious ceremonies; made Sunday a civil holiday; freed Christian soldiers for religious services; the "Sol Invictus" was adopted in a Christian sense; he spoke of God's providence; claimed divine protection for Christians; an Oration to the Assembly of Saints attributed to Constantine is a model of contemporary Christian apologetics; refused religious honors to the Roman Senate; induced his mother Helena to become a Christian; asked that fifty copies of the Christian scriptures in "magnificent and elaborately bound volumes" be used by the churches in the city.”
Let me add. Constantine built splendid Christian churches, set up Christian-inspired welfare spending for widoes, orphans, the sick, and the poor; Christian-inspired law granting legal rights to slaves; abolishing gladiatorial exhibitions; prohibiting crucifixion: closing down pagan temples that were breeding places for sexual immorality, immorality, that is, defined by Christian terms.
If the man was a pagan, he was a very lousy pagan.
Claim # 4 “He surmised that there was a need to conserve the former unity of the Roman People, and the only way was to form a uniting force behind his military and governing power, and that the answer a new religion!”
Fact: This is utterly false. In the first place, Christianity was a small, unpopular, and persecuted faith, how could it be “the uniting force behind his military and governing power”? The diverse lands covering vast territories comprising the Roman Empire were pagan of every hue, how could a small religion with the ridiculous doctrine of its God dying a criminal’s death on the Cross be “the uniting force that will bind together as one nation the Empire’s vast territories? That simply doesn’t make any sense!
The truth is, Constantine had nothing to gain by becoming a Christian. Much less will he be able to unite the diverse peoples and cultures under him by using Christianity as the bait.
The reason why he embraced Christianity is really simple: his “vision” and subsequent victory at the battle of Milvian Bridge convinced him that it’s nothing less than a divine intervention
His mother was a Christian, and his father had been sympathetic to Christians, but this is not the reason for his conversion.. It was battle that convinced Constantine- the Christian God delivered him victory at the Milvian Bridge. The new emperor would repay that debt and honor the true God.
The only reason Constantine convened the Council was because Constantine viewed episcopal feuds as a disgrace, self-evidently displeasing to God, and inviting judgment on the empire, AND HE WON’T HAVE THAT! We could almost imagine Constantine wishing resolving the conflict between the Church and Arius were as easy as fighting battles.
Unfortunately they were not. He especially lamented what he called “the rabid and implacable hatreds of the obstinate bishops.”(2) So while he treated the bishops, especially the bishop of Rome with deference, he counted on his own imperial power to break the impasse, and achieve Christian unity. He poured money into the Catholic Church, assured Pope Miltiades that heresy and schism would not be tolerated, and put Caesar’s sword at St. Peter’s service.
In a letter to his proconsul Aelianus, Constantine wrote that he would not rest easy until everyone worshipped “the most Holy God.. in the rites of the Catholic religion.”(3)
Claim # 5 “Constantine and with his close friend Eusebius, and others, decided to hold and official gathering in Nicaea of all presbyters and teachers of all known pagan religion to discus the formation of the new religion, now known as the Council of Nicaea 325 A.D. That was only organized, after Constantine proclaimed the Edict of Milan only a few year earlier in 313 A.D. After so many years of deliberation, and choosing their religion among so many god/ gds/ goddesses, the voted on Jesus Christ the Nazarene to be their new god.”
Fact: Let me list down each of his claims, followed with what actually is the fact after each:
(a) Constantine and Eusebius were close friends.
Fact: They were not. Constantine, by the time the Council was convened, was not chummy with Eusebius of Nicomedia, but with Hosius of Cordova. Hosius of Cordova was his emissary to Arius, likewise his counselor on spiritual matters.
(b) The Council of Nicea was called by Constantine, Eusebius, and others [note the sweeping “others”].
Fact, the Council was called by Constantine and Pope Sylvester.
(c) The Council was attended by priests and teachers of all known pagan religions.
Fact: St Athanasius, in his letter “Ad Afros,” pegged the number of attendees at 318 bishops, excluding various priests, deacons, and acolytes. Most of the bishops were Greeks. Among the Latin bishops were Hosius of Cordova, Cecilian of Carthage, Mark of Calabria, Nicasius of Dijon, Donnus of Stridon in Pannonia, and the two Roman priests, Victor and Vincentius, representing the pope. The assembly counted among its most famous members St. Alexander of Alexandria, Eustathius of Antioch, Macarius of Jerusalem, Eusebius of Nicomedia, Eusebius of Caesarea, and Nicholas of Myra.
Several bishops from outside the Roman Empire came to the Council. They came from Asia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Greece, and Thrace, which is perhaps why my opponent claims pagans were among the participants.
(d) The Council was convened to discuss the formation of the new religion.
Fact: The Council was convened to deal with the heresy of Arius.
As early as 320 or 321 St. Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria, convoked a council at Alexandria. At that council, more than one hundred bishops from Egypt condemned Arius for asserting that Christ was not God like the Father, but a creature made in time.
Despite this, Arius continued to officiate in his church and to enlist followers. St. Alexander drove Arius out of Alexandria, causing Arius to go Nicomedia via Palestine.
During this time St. Alexander wrote his "Epistola encyclica", to which Arius replied. After this, it was clear that their quarrel had gone past mediation. This tiff began to pit Churchman against Churchman, the situation made worse by the war which broke out between Constantine and Liicinius, the Emperor in the East which made the situation worse. And which fueled the religious conflict during the years 322323.
When finally Constantine became the sole Emperor, he took it upon himself to re-establish religious peace as well as restore civil order. Using his substantial influence as emperor, he trie to prevail upon St. Alexander and Arius to stand down.
It is plain that the emperor did not then grasp the import of the controversy. Hosius of Cordova, his counsellor in religious matters and the emissary he sent to Alexandria bore the imperial letter to Alexandria, but failed. It was then that Constantine decided that no other measure could solve the problem except through an ecumenical council which he lost no time in getting Pope Sylvester to convene.
(e) This new religion is called “Council of Nicea.”
Fact: The Council of Nicea is not a religion.
(f) The Council was convened in 325 A.D,
Fact; The Council was convened in A.D. 325 (anno domini dates written e.g., “A.D. 325,” Not “325 A.D.”), specifically May 20 till August 25.
(g) The Council voted Jesus Christ to be the new God.
Fact: The Council came up with the creed, or symbol which was done by June 19; the canons; and the synodal decree.
Here is the Creed which is what Catholics profess in every Holy Mass:
We believe (I believe) in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. (God of God) light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again withglory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And (Ibelieve) in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We confess (I confess) one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for (I look for) the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."
Here are the canons:
• Canon 1: On the admission, or support, or expulsion of clerics mutilated by choice or byviolence.
• Canon 2: Rules to be observed for ordination, the avoidance of undue haste, the deposition of those guilty of a grave fault.
• Canon 3: All members of the clergy are forbidden to dwell with any woman, except a mother, sister, or aunt.
• Canon 4: Concerning episcopal elections.
• Canon 5: Concerning the excommunicate.
• Canon 6: Concerning patriarchs and their jurisdiction.
• Canon 7: confirms the right of the bishops of Jerusalem to enjoy certain honours.
• Canon 8: concerns the Novatians.
• Canon 9: Certain sins known after ordination involve invalidation.
• Canon 10: Lapsi who have been ordained knowingly or surreptitiously must be excluded as soon as their irregularity is known.
• Canon 11: Penance to be imposed on apostates of the persecution of Licinius.
• Canon 12: Penance to be imposed on those who upheld Licinius in his war on the Christians.
• Canon 13: Indulgence to be granted to excommunicated persons in danger of death.
• Canon 14: Penance to be imposed on catechumens who had weakened under persecution.
• Canon 15: Bishops, priests, and deacons are not to pass from one church to another.
• Canon 16: All clerics are forbidden to leave their church. Formal prohibition for bishops to ordainfor their diocese a cleric belonging to another diocese.
• Canon 17: Clerics are forbidden to lend at interest.
• Canon 18: recalls to deacons their subordinate position with regard to priests.
• Canon 19: Rules to be observed with regard to adherents of Paul of Samosata who wished to return to the Church.
• Canon 20: On Sundays and during the Paschal season prayers should be said standing.
The Council did NOT vote Jesus Christ to be God. Jesus Christ is God way way long before the Council convened. The Bible proof may be found in my opening statement.
Constantine was born from a one-night liaison between a young Roman office, Flavius Constantius, and a peasant maid named Helena. Nine years, after, Flavius Constantius became governor of Dalmatia, where, unknown to him, his son Constantine was growing up. When two Roman soldiers cuffed the boy for annoying their horses, Helena rebuked them. They had struck the governor’s son, she said. And, as proof, she produced Falvius Constantius’ old military cloak. The soldiers reported the incident, and as in a fairy tale, the governor married the peasant girl and was reunited with his son.
Given this background, it is easy to understand how Constantine seems to firmly believe in an invisible hand that unerringly guides him in everything he does. Keeping in mind his seminal experience on the Milvian bridge, it’s easy to see how Constantine must have firmly believed that it is the Christian God who’s been helping him. It’s no surprise, then, that Constantine did everything in his power to help the Church.
This is one little detail that my opponent missed, which caused him to be wrong in EVERY ONE of his claims.