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Author: Bonhoeffer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 196942  
Subject: The Body of Christ Date: 9/24/2001 3:17 PM
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A.D. 280 - 337: The life of Constantine the Great. Upon Constantine's rise to power, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. Suddenly, Christians went from being persecuted to holding a priveledged status in the Empire.

A.D. 380: "Emperor of the East" Theodosius issues what has become known as the Edict of Intolerance. The text was as follows: (emphasis mine)

It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to
our clemency and moderation should continue to the profession of
that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine
Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition and
which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop
of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the
apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in
the one deity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in equal majesty
and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to
assume the title of Catholic Christians; but as for the others,
since in our judgement they are foolish madmen, we decree that
they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics,
and shall not presume to give their conventicle the name of
churches. They will suffer in the first place chastisement of
divine condmenation, and second, the punishment that our
authority, in accordance with the will of heaven, shall decide to
inflict
.
[Theodosian Code XVI.1.2; and Sozomen, VI, iv]

A.D. 1054: The Great Schism--the culmination of a long-standing power struggle between the Eastern and Western segments of the One Church. This resulted in a splintering into the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

A.D. 1517: Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses, a.k.a. "Disputation on the power and efficacy of indulgences." Contrary to Luther's original intent, this leads to the Reformation, and the eventual splintering of the Church into myriad Protestant Denominations.

A.D. 1536: King Henry VIII of England dissolves the monasteries and abbeys in England, effectively establishing his Anglican church as the dominant church of England.

This is a very succinct history of the one true Church splitting into many different branches.

So where did we go wrong? What could we have done differently to keep this from happening? What can we do (if anything) to reunite the Body of Christ?
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