The Beginning of a Never Ending Conflict

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Today, Christianity is filled with different denominations. Each denomination differs in opinion in certain areas. The origin of the differences in Christianity dates back to the Roman Empire when Christianity was developed. The Roman Empire was primarily polytheistic and people in the empire were expected to conform and bow down to all Roman gods. Judaism was the first religion to claim that there was only one God, a strictly monotheistic view. Despite Roman expectations of conformation, Judaism was not seen as a threat to the empire and Jews practiced their religion with minimal persecution. On the other hand, Christianity (also monotheistic) was seen as a threat to the success and continuation of the empire mainly because of Jesus Christ and His teachings.
The first followers of Christ were Jews. Non-Jewish followers, called Gentiles (Wiesner pg. 67), created an argument of whether or not they should conform to Judaism. A direct result of that argument was the separation of Jews and Gentiles, and the development of Christianity. Christianity was based on the lessons of Jesus, but there was initial diversity in the ideas of the Gentile followers. The Apostle’s transformed initial diversity in Christianity into a definite split between orthodoxy (truth) and heresy (false) by institutionalizing the orthodoxy in the Apostolic Creed, the Church, and the Apostolic Tradition.

The orthodoxy of the Creed, written by the Apostles, played a very large role in separating “true” ideas from heresies because it displayed definite answers to conflicting ideas. Among the conflicting ideas of the era, the Creed addressed four major concepts and declared them as orthodox. Gnostic thinkers such as Saturnius and Marcion declared that God did not create the world; and that Jesus was not the Son of God. Saturnius, affirmed that there was a Father who made seven angels, and “the world, and all things therein, was made by [those] certain angels...” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, pg. 78). He also claimed that, “Jesus was not born of a virgin but was the son of Joseph and Mary, like other men...” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, pg. 79). Marcion denied God the credit of creating the universe by “removing the teachings of the Lord wherein he is most manifestly described as acknowledged the maker of this universe to be His Father” in both Luke and the Epistle’s of Paul. The very first sentence of the Creed addresses those two viewpoints. It declared that God created the universe, and that Jesus is the Son of God.
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