Another early author of this church sect was Ambrose.
By the voice of the people, Ambrose was elected as bishop of Milan. But these were “instant Christians”, formed at the emperor’s command, not by repentance but by order to be baptized. These just add water converts would alter Christianity.
Ambrose, was the son of the governor of Gaul and a former high Roman official. He had asked the emperor if he could become Bishop of Milan and was granted that right by this self-appointed "Bishop of Bishops". Before Ambrose could accept this position, he had to take time to research what Christianity was, for he had no idea. He returned sometime later with his own doctrines. Ambrose considered a bishop as an “aristocratic figure” and formulated the Church according to the “ways of Rome issuing decrees, edicts, and commands”, rather than serving as a subject, minister, and servant of the people. He also displayed a fierce hatred of women that was carried into the middle ages. He was intolerant of other religions and actually argued in the Roman Senate that all other religions should be stamped out.
This seems in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus. The idea that other religions should be persecuted by Roman force and policy seems to fly in the face of the injustice of the Crucifixion itself.
“Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using; after the commandments and doctrines of men?” Colossians 2:21-22
These people, by a majority vote, chose a single, top-down ruling bishop for thousands and, at the command of a tyrant and his Edict of Milan, were not Christians of repentance, although, they may have been baptized with water and fanfare. The Milan Church, its hierarchy of authority, was established by the spirit and character of Constantine, not by Christ. Much of what we see as the Church has come down through this tainted religion and apostasy. To understand the Church and its position in the Kingdom of God, we must go back to its origin, which is Christ, not Constantine.
“Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” 1 Corinthians 7:23
These new Christians came to believe without repentance. They were enticed by the favor and grace of emperors, not Christ. These bribes for their faith included millions of dollars in land, gold, and silver, given out of the treasury of Rome. These royal grants were given to bishops who came to his councils and remained, or to those who were appointed by his own permission and authority. These new bishops were soon issuing edicts and commands, even calling for the persecution of pagans or Christians who did not bow down to the thinking of this new church.
The citizens of Milan were truly instant Christians. They eventually elected this man Ambrose as the Bishop of Milan. Ambrose a roman lawyer and governor had tortured prisoners and entertained prostitutes. At first he refused the election, knowing little of Christianity or the ways of Christ. But with popular support and the emperor’s encouragement he relented and within a week he was baptized with water.
Except for words and names there was little alteration of the spirit of these new Christians. Ambrose did take a leave of absence from his employment with the empire to study some of the basic requirements for the ministers of Christ.
As bishop of the Church he knew he could own no property in his own name and apportioned his money to the poor, donating his lands, except for provision for his sister Marcellina, and committing some of his property to the care of his family by his brother.
From Judas to Constantine, from Ambrose to tax-funded Faith-Based socialism, men have undermined the gospel of the kingdom and gone under the control of benefactors who exercise authority one over the other.
This Audio Broadcast talks about:
- Are Christian's Idiots? The Gospel of James. The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew Faith and hope. Essenes. Hellenistic Greeks. Reserve funds - golden statues. Share with the brethren first. Reading the Gospel in the Dark - Portrayals of Jesus in Films by Richard Walsh. The Conflict, Holiness and Politics in the Teachings of Jesus by Marcus J. Borg. Why were Christians being persecuted? Jesus Christ of Nazareth legal King of Judea. Follow the money. Bishop Ambrose of Milan. Constantine. Lady Godiva and the Free Church Report. Biblical Theology Bulletin. Journal of Biblical Literature. New wine in old wineskins. Journal of American Academy of Religion. Jesus in Contemporary Scholarship By Marcus Borg www.preparingyou.com - The Conflict of Christianity and the Roman State. The Historical Jesus - The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant by John Dominic Crossan - religious and economic egalitarianism.
The rest of this series is here and other [Audio2014|audio files]]
Called out |
Church legally defined |
Early Church | Religion | Corban | Storehouse | Daily ministration |
The Way | Minister of the world | Welfare types | Socialism |
The Church chained | Body of Christ | Kingdom of God | Levites |
The Free Church Report | Church Study course online | Unchurched |
Ministers | Christians | Modern Christians | Christians check list |
Theology | Lady Godiva | Whosoever believeth | Worship | Salvation |
Creed of the Apostles | Benefactors | Cain | Nimrod | Constantine |
Christian conflict | Fathers | Patristic | Ambrose | Jerome |