Nicene Cathedral (Romanian fresco, XVIII century).
But our whole история - this is not only the history of wars, but also the history of the search for true faith and the best way to save the soul, and the most interesting thing is that this search is still ongoing today! Well, our story will go about the intricate ways of this search, and we will touch only two confessions - Christianity and the Muslim religion.
Is Christianity a space for fantasy?
It all began with the fact that already in the II. n er Christian theologians attempted to unite the newly-born Christianity with Greek philosophy, and they have succeeded a great deal in this endeavor. Well, early Christianity opened up a wide scope for various interpretations, as it was still evolving. Many of them were then ranked as heresy - that is, to a strictly deviation from the true faith, but, however, these too were teachings, and they were sometimes followed by huge masses of people, although the church later condemned these teachings.
The earliest of those who disagree
The blood of the first Christians was still spilled in the arenas of the Roman circuses (the emperor Nero accused them of burning Rome in 64 AD), and the first heresies began to appear. And at first it was Gnosticism in various forms, with the preaching of which were the bishops Valentin and Basilides. They argued that matter is evil, so they made a distinction between the creator of the world and the true God, in whom they saw two different entities, and this, of course, did not fit in with what was written in the Bible.
In Asia Minor such a doctrine arose as Montanism, which received its name from the name of the Phrygian pagan priest Montana, who became a Christian around X. NUMX AD. er He preached living spiritual communion with God. As well as freedom from the church hierarchy and rituals, and all this, in his opinion, could be seen in individual charisms or special gifts from the Holy Spirit, and, above all, the gift of prophecy. That is, it came out very conveniently: you have a prophetic gift, therefore, you entered into a living communion with God. And if not - do not blame me, not yet mature! The followers of Montana, among whom the prophets Priscus (or Priscilla) and Maximilla used special honor, recognized their teacher as Paraclete (the Comforter Spirit), who was promised to the people with the Gospel of John. A part of the Christians, which continued to follow the Jewish doctrines, entered the Ebionite sect (from the Hebrew word “poor”). The Ebionites claimed that Jesus actually came just to fulfill the law and the ancient prophecies, that is, it was akin to Moses. They believed that he had only removed the falsity that had accumulated throughout the history of the Jewish people from the Law, and preached asceticism, life in poverty and vegetarianism. But the most interesting thing is that they believed that they were a bridge between the Church and the Synagogue, since their faith combines both Christianity and Judaism. But such a symbiosis was not at all liked by representatives of orthodox creeds; as a result, the Christian church accused them as heretics, and the Jewish church as apostates.
The Trinity Question and the Problem of the Weak
In the III. the first disagreements concerning the Trinity, as well as the church itself and the sacrament, went. There was a monarchy, which was popular in Rome, and which asserted the unity of God, but rejected three of its incarnations. At the same time, Adoptianism, which Paul preached from Samosata, affirmed the human, not the divine nature of Christ.
At the same time, Novocianism appeared (named after the Presbyter Novatian), which became a clearly Puritanist teaching in Rome and advocated not forgiving all those who renounce their faith in fear of persecution or because of weakness of spirit fell into a grave sin! And it is amazing how they thought of this, because Christ himself, as you know, forgave his enemies!
The quest for truth and the first Ecumenical Councils
In the IV. Arianism was widely spread, so named after the presbyter Arius of Alexandria, who taught that God the Father created the Son of God, and therefore he is different from his father in nature. The First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325, condemned Arianism, and affirmed that God the Father and the Son are one in essence, and then the same was confirmed at the Council of Constantinople in 381. But condemnation is condemnation, but how could it be that then already many nations, for example, the same Goths, Vandals and Burgundians, became Christians precisely according to the Arian teachings ?! Moreover, there is even a version that in Russia, too, there was an early Arian sense. But why? In 2006, in the city of Orel, the “Arian community of the city of Orel” of 20 people appeared. Apparently, the path of salvation according to the teachings of Arius turned out to be closer to them than traditional Orthodoxy, and why so, who knows?
After all, there was also the patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius, the creator of Nestorianism, who believed that Christ was born as a man, and only later the Word of God joined him. Opponents of Nestorius accused him of a “split personality” of Christ and condemned the teachings in 431 during the third Ecumenical Council in Ephesus.
However, there was the opposite extreme — Eutihianism or Monophysitism, which completely denied the human principle in Jesus, but it was also rejected by Khalkedon Cathedral in 451 year. Proponents of Pelagianism and its milder form, semi-Pelagianism, were of the opinion that Adam's original sin did not affect human nature, and any mortal is able to arbitrarily choose good or evil, and God’s help is not required.
Adam’s sin was just a “bad example” for posterity, they argued, but he had no other harmful consequences. But the role of Jesus, on the contrary, was a "good example" for all mankind and opposed the "bad example" of Adam, and is also an atonement for sins. Pelagian doctrine says that people are sinners of their own choice, and therefore sinners are not victims, but criminals who need not to be punished, but ... to forgive! And it is still possible for people to achieve perfection without the help of the church, although Blessed Augustine condemned them for this, because he believed that the original sin was so heavy that without the directing hand of the clergy in search of salvation, you will not get away with it!
There were also Cathars, from the Greek “catharsis” - “cleansing”, or Albigoyans (after the city of Albi), who also considered themselves Christians. But they claimed that hell is life on Earth, and heaven in heaven, that man is born in hell and ascends to heaven, that the cross is not a symbol of faith, but an instrument of execution, because people in Rome were crucified! The Cathars said terrible things from the point of view of normal Catholics. For example, that meat food defiles the mouth equally all the days, so there is no point in sticking to posts, and that the sin of killing a living creature is not hushed. And they dared to say the following: “If the Lord God is omnipotent and allows for what is happening in this world, then He is not the all-good. But if He is all-good and allows for what is happening in the world, then He is not omnipotent. ” And, despite such terrible statements, their religion attracted a lot of people in the South of France, where culture and economy began to flourish, until they were destroyed by orthodox Catholic crusaders Northerners! “Swear and bear false witness,” said the Cathars, “but do not reveal the secrets!” That is, changing faith in difficult circumstances was as simple as changing pants for them. Therefore, the Catholics demanded that they also kill the dog when they converted to Catholicism, they did not trust the Cathars' oath alone. And what? When their March of Montsegur fell on March 1244, the 216 Cathars, singing hymns, proudly descended from the mountain and climbed the fires that burned below, and not only men, but also women and children! Now this place is called the Field of the Burned and marked with a memorial cross - a clear symbol of the strength of their faith!
"Kill them like the people of Hell!"
Muslims, moreover, at the earliest stages of the formation of Islam, heretical branches of the true faith were also enough. For example, one of the earliest "deviations", whose representatives came out against the legitimate Muslim rulers and turned out to recognize as unbelievers those of the Muslims who sinned gravely, became Kharijism. The Prophet Mohammed demanded that the Kharijites simply kill: “They will come out of Islam just as an arrow pierces game. If you find them, kill them the way the Hell tribe was once killed. ”
Muhakkimites and azrakits were also known - also supporters of the Khariji sect. They argued that people who have committed at least one grave sin immediately turn into unbelievers, and for this they will burn forever in hell. There are known varieties of the Kharijite sect — nadzhdy, baykhasits, ajradites, salabits, ibadits, sufrits, etc. At the same time, Muslim theologians themselves find between them many serious differences in the interpretation of questions of faith and norms of Islamic law, so everything is even very very difficult .
People practicing jahmism also consider themselves Muslims, but, according to Muslims themselves, they are heretics in relation to faith. And how can they not be considered as such if they refuse to recognize many events that should happen on the Day of Judgment: in the Bridge, which will be spread between the ridges of Hell, they do not believe, deny Libra, the very possibility of contemplating Allah, the Quran is considered to be ... created. Mu'tazilitis (“isolated”, “separated”) are supporters of asharism and maturidism — the teachings that arose according to the Muslim calendar around the 900 year. All human actions, they said, are the creations of Allah, that is, without him you will not even pull the hair out of your beard. But only the Maturidites believed that they were based only on the will of Allah, and the form of the act itself depends on the will of man. At the same time, the Asharites asserted that Allah only gives people the ability to perform certain actions and gives them free will. That is, if a person does not interfere, he can do them.
The truth is always there somewhere ...
In addition, Murdzhity, Kadarites, Dzhabarites are also known, and this is not counting the division of Muslims into Shiites and Sunnis, in essence, equal to the division of Christians into Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants. This is how difficult, it turns out, the path to salvation, and how difficult it was at the dawn of the formation of the two world religions of Christianity and Islam, to learn the Truth. And who knows if this truth is known even now ?!