Is religion really opiate for the masses according to Karl Marx? Politics is downstream from religion while culture is down stream from politics. The ultimately goal of many religions is the control of its followers while influencing non-followers.
The Church of Rome is one of the most classical examples of this. Founded in the 4th century by emperor Constantine, it was the Roman empire’s answer to transition from a failing political power to religious one. The real Christian church founded in Jerusalem at Pentecost in 33AD under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Apostle Paul was bursting at the seams. Since the death of Christ, nobody could control it and its relentless growth scared the living daylights if anybody standing against it.
Its teachings of truth appealed universally, and it was no longer the Jews who were following “the way” but gentiles where their biggest converts just like today. Thus, the Roman empire had to hide under a pseudo version of it. Constantine was its first Pope, aka Pontifex Maximus, which literally means “Chief Opinion maker” and rarely anything to do with the truth.
The Church of Rome did in fact grow but many 1st century Christians understood the New Testament model for the Church was the home and is totally autonomous from political administration. In fact, the Christian church “IS” a government and did not need buildings or any type of institutionalization. The early believers were very grounded in this and it not only continues today, but since COVID has attracted a reinterest since buildings are closing in droves under the weight of its own bureaucracy.
While many followers of Rome went along with it, they were skeptics like renowned astronomer Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei. Born during the Protestant reformation, Europe was in upheaval against Rome, so he was reared in an era of revolution. Although he was a Catholic, he was no friend of it is teaching that the Sun revolved around the Earth (geocentrism) but rather believed it was heliocentric. Convicted for heresy by Pope Urban VIII in 1633, he spent the rest of his life under house arrest.
Over 350 years later, he was post humorously apologized to by Pope John Paul II in a discourse to the Pontifical Academy of science http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/it/speeches/1992/october/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19921031_accademia-scienze.html but it was pretty watered down as it blamed a few careless individuals/departments rather than the institution Church of Rome as a whole. It has always been about “their” power and never the people. Professor Maurice Finocchiaro https://www.unlv.edu/people/maurice-finocchiaro has spent most of his career studying the Galileo and Church of Rome affair and is a sought after speaker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIdkbHhgGOQ in this area.
This Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ at Easter because they know their faith is not in vain. Galileo has convinced billions of his theory and it is now accepted fact regardless of your beliefs or politics. Christians all over the world face similar challenges while celebrating the resurrection of Christ this Easter because James, the 2nd last author of the Bible and Jesus’s half brother, said it best in James 1:26-27 that our religion is “pure and undefiled before God”.
Sky watch for the next month: Download this month’s sky free chart at http://whatsouttonight.com/Resources/2021AprSkyWOT.pdf
1Pre-Dawn Moon & Saturn rising- On Tuesday April 06th look SE at 05:30 am as this duo rises into the morning.
2Pre-Dawn Moon & Saturn rising- On Wednesday April 07th look SE at 06:00 am as this duo rises into the morning.
3Post-Day Moon & Mars- On Saturday April 17th look West at 08:00 pm as this duo sets into the night.
4Lyrids Meteor Shower- also known as April shooting stars produced by dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher discovered in 1861 will peak before dawn Thursday morning April 22nd. Look East into the constellation of Lyra near Vega and you should be able to catch 10-20 meteors per hour on average with rare surges of up to 100 after the Moon sets around 5:00 am https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/lyrids.html.
Happy Easter and Warmer Days!