July 8, 2022

Remember Your Constantine

By Glenn

The year 312 of the Common Era marked a decisive turning point in world history.  A Roman general named Constantine wanted total control of the empire.  Constantine waged war against his enemies to establish dominance.

Since the time of Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE), Roman generals ruled by force instead of election.  The 300 intervening years had taught the generals that they needed more than brute force.  They still needed popular support to avoid mob violence.

According to Constantine, he experienced a vision right before the decisive battle of Milvian Bridge.  In that vision he saw a Roman military standard with two Greek letter, Chi (X) and Ro (P).  The P was situated directly in the middle of the X.

chi_rho_coin 367-83 AD, Gratian, Roman Coin, AE3, GLORIA ROMANORVM, Emperor dragging captive

Underneath the Chi Ro was a banner.  It had a Latin phrase, “In hoc signo vinces.”  It translates as “In this sign you shall conquer.”  Constantine interpreted the dream to mean his army should adopt the Chi Ro as their battle standard.

Constantine won the battle of Milvian Bridge and went on to conquer the entire Roman Empire.

What did this mysterious sign mean? What power did it possess?   The Chi Ro were the first two letters of the word “Christ.”  Constantine rewarded the followers of Christ by issuing an edict of toleration, the Edict of Milan (313).

“your Worship should know that it has pleased us to remove all conditions whatsoever, which were in the rescripts formerly given to you officially, concerning the Christians and now any one of these who wishes to observe Christian religion may do so freely and openly, without molestation. We thought it fit to commend these things most fully to your care that you may know that we have given to those Christians free and unrestricted opportunity of religious worship. When you see that this has been granted to them by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases ; this regulation is made we that we may not seem to detract from any dignity or any religion.”


Read the words of the Edict again.  Notice Constantine not only allowed Christians to worship freely, he also asked them to recognize that “other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times.”

This advice paralleled the words of Christ. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” 

For the next 1500 years, Christians emperors, kings, popes and preachers all ignored the advice of Constantine and the Law of God.  They learned the hard way that “all who draw the sword will die by the sword. “ Do you want to make the same mistake? 

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