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Honor in giving truth

One of my favorite history stories is Julian, the last Pagan Emperor of Rome.

Julian was raised Christian, but sought out the old pagan teachings. Before he was Emperor, his position wasn’t secure. He risked his life to learn about his faith and to practice the religion he was called to. If Julian had been a secret Christian, he’d be honored as a Christian saint.

After he became emperor, he sought to limit Christianity to just one faith among many in the Empire. He thought that the Christian Church had become too wealthy and far too powerful. Whether one sees this as a bad thing depends on if you feel the Church had become corrupt. I believe it had, as would any institution with no competition and an absolute government-backed monopoly on Higher Truth.

Again, if Julian had been Christian standing up for his faith and the Empire in the face of a overwhelmingly powerful corrupt pagan faith, today’s Christians would be singing his praises.

I’d argue that Constantine subverted the early Christian church into a tool he could use to control his Empire. That certain explains the need to “unify” Christian doctrine. That is only my speculation though. By Constantine’s death the early Church was a vastly different animal than it had been at Nicaea, and it was largely due to Imperial patronage.

What would have happened if Julian had lived longer, perhaps long enough to father a heir? That is one of the great what-ifs of history.

Today I am reminded that for all their teachings, for all their talk about openness, many Christians fail a simple test. For them, there can be no criticism of Christianity. There can be no suggestion that a non-Christian might be just as “good” as any Christian. Merely stating that their beliefs do not apply unless the other person is a Christian too is tantamount to calling the very foundations of their faith lies.

For them it’s the Perfect Ideal and may not be questioned. I knew that from the very first post on this blog.

I have this silly idea. I think that most people make mostly good choices. I think there is honor in giving truth. I think there is something more to the Divine than the most revised, edited and redacted text in history.

Even if some are threatened by the very idea.

After all, I’ve been doing the same to the climate change alarmists for years. And for pretty much the same reasons.

Let us share truth. And if not that, than practicalities.
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