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Fully Understanding The Arian Controversy Faith Essay

The cathedral has battled throughout its record with various Heresies and controversies, which in essence have partly defined the path that the cathedral has taken. An ideal example is Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria and his vivid stand against Arianism. Without which today's orthodox beliefs may have drifted into paganism and found itself more of a beliefs than a life saving religious beliefs The concept of salvation was at risk.

The Arians believed that Jesus had not been God, but instead a created being, where Athanasius knew that for salvation to be realised, Jesus must be both completely God and totally individual, of the same material as God, and always being, not created. The importance of this stance could not be overstated as it could affect all aspects of Christian opinion and society.

Athanasius' stand cost him dearly spending a long time in exile on 5 different occasions, but his determination to are a symbol of what he believed was absolute real truth eventually triumphed. His stand maintained the cathedral as a musical instrument of salvation, separate from the control of secular ability. It really is through the example of Athanasius' life and costly struggle for truth that we learn the value of determining today's critical issues and ranking company in this present difficult age group.


To fully understand the Arian Controversy and the depth of participation for Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, one only must follow his life story, as the history of the Arian Controversy is entwined throughout it. The life span of Athanasius is so dominated by the combat of the heresy, that the rise and show up of the Arian Controversy was a reflection of the life and security of the theological giant.

In this article the writer shall attempt to examine the partnership between Athanasius and his passionate fight the Arian heresy. By doing this one must first of all understand the Controversy, second of all know about the Key players, and what they so passionately presumed and fought for, and finally to consider how learnings from these past battles can be applied today.

Section1: The Arian Controversy

The Arian Controversy was birthed through a guy called Arius (250 -336AD) created in Libya. A very popular and esteemed presbyter of the Baucalis Church, in the location of Alexandria. Arius' objective was to protect the position of a distinctive God, the one being to will always be and neither has another ever before been around with the same standing up nor made of the same subject. Nevertheless the controversy finds an earlier conception through Origen, most likely the greatest Religious theologian of the early church.

Origen's knowledge of the Trinity was three distinct beings firmly united into one, God the Creator of most, the eternal Kid Christ and the Holy Heart. Nonetheless it was his commentary regarding the subordination of both Christ and the Holy Spirit to the daddy, which influenced some of these who implemented him to accept subordinationism and lastly Arianism. This opinion plus a quantity of other popular heresies and schisms built a basis and business lead into from what is now known as the Arian controversy.

Around the entire year 318AD Arius began to distributed his views on the relationship between God and Christ, one being the uncreated Father without a start, who bore a Boy with a newbie. THE TERM (Logos) became flesh as the person Jesus Christ (John 1:14), but Arius argued, He had not been manufactured from the same character nor product as God the daddy, "neither eternal nor omnipotent, and for that reason was a smaller being". In Arius' charm to the highly influential Eusebius, the bishop at Nicomedia he composed "The Boy has a beginning, but God is without beginning". Arius postulated that Jesus Christ was a created Being, the first and the best ever created, but nonetheless only a form of creation, not the Originator. That is further observed in a common expression that could eventually become the Arian motto,

"There is, when He had not been"

At this time around (early on in the fourth century) in church record, the theory's and ideas encompassing the divinity of Christ were still "up in air" so to speak, and the cathedral had no established way to 'officialise' doctrine or determine what was a satisfactory belief. So that it was, when Alexander the bishop of Alexandria clashed over several problems with Arius, the most crucial being whether the 'Expression of God', was co-eternal with God.

In 320AD Alexander needed decisive action, clearly declaring his belief in the Son's, being 'consubstantial and coeternal with the Father', following which he brought together a council of local bishops, condemning the views of Arius and deposing him in 321AD. Arius, appealed both to the neighborhood populace and some prominent bishops from the eastern part of the empire, who subsequently supported him. Arius' go back to Alexandria, led to presentations and riots in the streets, further intimidating a department of the 'complete eastern cathedral', creating Constantine; the first totally attested Religious Emperor, to intervene.

In 325AD, Constantine called the first Ecumenical (Common or worldwide) Council in Nicea to settle the matter of the Arian Debate. This historic reaching not only had the Emperor Constantine present but additionally it is claimed in ancient chronicles that 318 bishops were also in attendance. The Arian party was led by Eusebius of Nicomedia and the opposition was headed by Alexander bishop of Alexandria notably recognized by a young deacon named Athanasius his eventual successor and champion of Nicene orthodoxy.

The Arian question was distilled to the addition or subtraction of one iota. Was Christ 'Homousios' (i. e. of the same substance as God) or the Arian stand 'Homoiousios' (i. e. of similar essence with God)? In what has been referred to as a 'decision of immeasurable importance in the annals of the church', Arianism was rejected, in the clearest way possible, and after question, the condemnation of Arius pronounced by the bishop Alexandria was upheld, leading to Arius being 'anathematized and banished with two companions to Illyria'. Furthermore for quality of notion, and complete rejection of Arianism, it was made the decision that a common creed needed to be developed and unanimously arranged. Eusebius of Caesarea presented his own creed, that was implemented with some changes strengthening the rejection of the Arianism heresies. This creed known as the 'Creed of Nicaea' became the basis of the 'Nicene Creed' still used in today's churches.

This must have finished the Arian controversy but it soon reappeared with the emperor placing your order the church to invert Arius' condemnation, and readmit him. This unveiled a new church issue, the disturbance of their state (emperor) in cathedral affairs. Rather than persecution, the chapel had to deal with training from a secular authority. We also learn to see the true grit of Athanasius, and his willingness to are a symbol of truth regardless of the negative results to his own life.

Section 2: Athanasius, "The African american Dwarf" Champion of Nicene Orthodoxy.

Athanasius (296 - 373 Advertisement), appeared to be a man surrounded by controversy. In his time as archbishop of Alexandria, he was exiled no less than five times. His controversial status centred around his use of Episcopal specialist, as well as the famous alleged assassination of a fellow bishop of your rival group that was considerably found to be incorrect. It was Athanasius' whole lot, that his fortunes would ride the waves of rejection and recognition of the reason (The Arian controversy) he so diligently fought against throughout his life. His stance contrary to the heresy that plagued his defence of Christianity designed his life. He's credited in history as you who "stood only for the truth, against the causes of heresy", which is to have explained his famous defiance, "Athanasius Contrary to the World".

Athanasius who was noted to be so dark and lacking stature, was recognized to his enemies as "The Black colored Dwarf", the person seen most importantly others as being against Arianism and be feared the most. He was also called the champion of Nicene orthodoxy, viewed as one of the 'great fathers of the fourth century', and it is also credited among the most renown theologians of the early church, between other greats such as Clement and Origen.

Three key issues of matter for Athanasius were within the 'spiritual, social, and politics' realms. His gravest concern was the Arian primary argument regarding the full deity of Jesus Christ and the theology of the Trinity. Athanasius' position on the trinity, was deeply rooted upon his beliefs on creation and salvation, effectively centering debate on the biblical and theological basis steering it away from philosophical speculation. In the Arian question, Athanasius could obviously observe that Christianity was at the brink to become a kind of paganism. If Jesus had not been announced 'Homousios', then Christianity could have worshiped two Gods, and Jesus would not have been a suitable sacrifice for our sins. Athanasius found Salvation was at risk, Jesus would have to be both fully human to atone for the sin of man, and completely divine, as none of them other can have the power to save lots of humanity. This duel characteristics of Christ was paramount, as without it the Salvation of humanity would be impossible.

The second major issue was at the world of politics. At this time Christianity possessed just surfaced from a period of major persecution by the secular capabilities to a time where it was the prominent religious beliefs. However, Christianity had in reality changed from secular persecution to secular control by the Emperor of your day. The Arian controversy was a great example of a change in foci with Athanasius now finding himself opposing the Emperor over religious issues. This resulted in five intervals of exile and reinstatement, predicated on either a change in emperor or the cliche wardrobe to the emperor at that time. Subsequently the church found its role degraded away from its real role of pointing mankind to salvation in Christ, rather learning to be a tool of the emperor used to accomplish his own ends. Subsequently, chapel issues and doctrines weren't being made the decision by the spiritual elite debating each issue, instead key decisions (e. g. Arian controversy) were created by secular rulers under petition. Furthermore, cathedral decisions were at the mercy of being over ruled by their state to suit the whims of the emperor. Throughout this era Athanasius founded and fought for the theory of church parting from their state, keeping the church's focus and mission on the good thing of Christ.

The third concern experienced by Athanasius was in the public sphere This arose through the emperor Constantine's authentic concerns with the volatility of the Arian dispute, its magnitude and potential to rip apart the complete eastern church. Constantine recognised the importance and role of an united church holding together the fabric of any decaying Roman contemporary society. This is his hope and method of ensuring Rome's success, but a divided and embittered church would seal the fate of weary empire. So it was that Constantine called mutually the first worldwide assembly of Religious bishops to deal with these issues amongst other things. His stance about the social impact of any divided cathedral was clear as he tackled the bishops before the council stating "Division in the cathedral was worse than war".

Athanasius refused to condone assault to accomplish his goals. This was shown throughout a confrontation with rival bishop Gregory which escalated into assault. Athanasius' response was to remove himself from the city to avoid further bloodshed. Athanasius' pastoral heart and soul recognised the risk Arianism would bring to population, and that those who opposed Arianism would once more face persecution, (only this time it would result from within). Athanasius also realised that Christianity's endpoint under Arianism was paganism resulting in the demise of both sociable and moral criteria as the Christian faith decayed to the depth of other pagan religions.

Section 3: Making use of these lessons in today's society

The issues which arose in Athanasius' day are seen again today, challenging Christians across all nations to varying levels. The three main regions of conflict faced by Athanasius and Christians today, are the following.

The first concern Christians face today is that of religious heresy. The countless denominations now found under the Protestant banner demonstrates the splintering of the church into multiple denominations, further giving climb to cults barely related to the original Christian subject matter. Even the Arian controversy itself has re-surfaced in a customized form with the emergence of the Jehovah Witnesses. One discovers from Athanasius that despite having insurmountable chances, someone must stand in the gap for truth, regardless of the cost it may have on your very being. Athanasius confirmed that a person must persist before end, never to only ensure real truth benefits, but that unity of the body of Christ is achieved. Considering Athanasius' stand, it is discovered that he never gave up on the chapel body, despite frustrating possibilities opposing him. Athanasius did the trick within the prevailing church composition, resisting the temptation to start out his own religious theological group. This led to the survival of the early church, providing Christians of the present day a functional theological base to construct upon.

Today's second issue encompasses the partnership between chapel and condition. This battle has been played out around the world. Christians in many european countries have developed specifically Christian politics parties, based after the Christian stance and influencing federal insurance plan where possible. Globally we see countries like Communist China and the old Russia where in fact the government took a dynamic role in aiming to discredit and eliminate religion through persecution and unjust regulations. Unable to beat the cathedral of Christ some adopted an insurance plan of offering spiritual "freedom" with harsh limitations under the tight control of the government. We learn through Athanasius tests, the problems of mixing politics and religion, with the problem and misuse of the cathedral which can come from such a union. Today we face the seed products of secular intervention in Christian opinion and activity with Australia's recent discrimination and vilification laws getting the potential to silence the church.

The final lesson handles the modern culture or community where Christians live. Constantine observed that the unity of the Christians could contain the cloth of the Roman Empire jointly, and Christians may exert an identical effect today. The continuous decay of present society towards a collapse in its cultural moral figure is apparent with the increasing event of difficult behaviours (in societal terms) such as abortion, child and spousal abuse, and euthanasia (in some western countries). From a Christian stance, moral indicators such as divorce, suicide and problem pregnancies are also increasing in frequency. Some signals show a decreasing difference between secular society and the Christian community as Religious beliefs are affected and eroded. Days gone by discloses that to avert public disaster, Christians need to be unified, offering stable expectations and clear beliefs tempered with peacefulness, hope and wish to the areas and nations in which they live: Offering Christ as the real option to modern paganism. Athanasius shows that the chapel must get back to its roots and become a vessel of very good news, offering Salvation to mankind.


The cathedral would prosper to look back again on the life of Athanasius and learn from the lessons that great man of God teaches. However the works of Athanasius hold an important put in place the annals of Christianity, it is more the life span and stance of Athanasius which speaks quantities to Christians throughout the age range. It had been Athanasius' tireless and fearless stand from the Arianism which gained him the name "Champion of Nicene orthodoxy". Against apparently insurmountable chances, Athanasius opposed heretical change, fighting both hierarchy of church and state.

The tenacity and vision of 1 man, refusing to recant his theological stance on Christ's deity and the role of the chapel, founded and impacted the church's way to this day. In most Western countries the protestant cathedral is in addition to the state's affect with, the burkha focus stayed true around the note of Christ providing salvation through his deity and following effectiveness of his substitutionary sacrifice.

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