So, yesterday evening, during class, the professor (whim I enjoy) asked whether or not the ‘conversion’ of Constantine was a good thing for the Church. My response was ‘Bad for the Church, Good for the World.’
Why? Because there was a certain amount of transference to State of Christian morality, although for the longest, you might be hard pressed to find. Further, Western Civilization was virtually built with Christianity. However, it institutionalized the Church and connected it to the State. As I wrote earlier, I felt that the Church lost its position as the loyal opposition, in which we maintained the Kingdom of God against the kingdoms of this world, the dominions, the powers, etc… When Constantine ‘converted’ he brought the two together and we lost our voice as the moral authority, the prophetic mantle. We gained a sword to enforce the ‘gospel’ message and we did. With blood. And to what extent did that tarnish the Church? We gained power, but look what we’ve done with that power?
And today – where is the Church growing? Under what circumstances did the Church grow then and now grows?
I do not think that Constantine’s conversion was anything but political, and that because of that, the Church lost. Yes, the persecutions stopped, but look at what was lost…