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Chapter 13 - The
A traditional historical perspective sees the years roughly from 300 to 1100 as 'dark' because there is no record of great human achievement in art, literature, music, or philosophy. The time between the fall of Rome and the arrival of the Renaissance (rebirth) may have been 'dark' for another reason.
The fourth century saw the end of official persecution of Christianity and the entrance of all sorts of people seeking political, economic, and social advantage now in being 'Christian'. It was the entrance of these sorts of people that built upon the seeds Satan planted with his persecutions to shape Christianity into a monolithic organization.
He also saw the weaving of religion and rulership together such as emperors and kings who would benefit from church endorsement just as the church leader (pope) would benefit from secular endorsement. One can see this integration in what would become the Holy Roman Empire. However, it was also integral in all the kingdoms of Western Europe.
This exposes two types of Christianity. There is the visual manifestation closely integrated with political, military, and even economic forces in contrast to the individual, relational, and devotional life that constitutes real Christianity.
Christianity was supposed to be new life in Christ separate from the world with each Christian seeking to grow in the image of Christ.
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. - John 4:14
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. - John 13:35
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. - Romans 12:2
One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. - Romans 14:5
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: - Ephesians 4:15
Instead of Christians growing in their faith, gaining Christian maturity, and becoming more like Jesus, a pernicious encrustation grew on the backs of Christians that came to claim total authority over Christian life. Those who were wealthy, influential, and ambitious were useful tools for Satan's purposes to form the organizational systems that would harness Christians in a collective that would be a stepping stone to his control of the world.
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