Every Christian remembers the Roman Empire.They're the ones that kept throwing Christians into the Lion Pit for courageously sticking to their faith. But in the year 312, the general Constantine received a vision of a Cross, and the message "In This Sign Conquer." He made it his standard and defeated all comers until he established the Holy Roman Empire, unifying Europe and the Mediterranean Basin and about 60-65 million people. In gratitude to the Cross, he made Christianity his Empire's mascot religion.
The problem was, at the time Christianity was all over the map, theologically. The beliefs of various sects that laid claim to the term Christian would just astound most of today's faithful.
To bind the Empire together, he sponsored a council at Nice, where representatives of the most influential Christian sects of the time were to establish a universal Christian Dogma. The ideal was that it would be a time of reflection, discussion, meditation, and affirmation. In reality, it was a cross between a game of Monopoly and food fights. Doctrine was refuted and proselytized, people were persecuted and exiled, secular power was applied in force and religious clout was bribed and seduced.
Articles were voted into the final document by a process of big-church-little-church. Doctrines of the largest churches had the greatest support, and made their way into what was to become the established Orthodox View of the Christian Church for All Time....until the next council. It was a matter of majority rule, or typical Church bullying. One exception, the final form of Article #5 was not the majority view of the Church, it was the majority view of Emperor Constantine.
As you read through the proto-creed, understand that this list includes the final, Orthodox Creed all Christians were to adhere to, and the alternates that made as far as a full council vote. Keep in mind that while a collection of books to make the Old Testament was fairly well agreed upon, the New Testament was not. A number of scrolls were in distribution and routing, much like funny xeroxes thru the business world a few years back, or funny emails today. Later councils hammered out the NT.
And remember, every doctrine here, even those with Pagan elements, had a chance of being part of our basic belief system.
Article 3 & 4:
Article 3 & 4 & 5:
And for any interested atheists, agnostics, heathens, heretics, pagans, Universalists, evolutionists, lawyers or just poor-quality-Christians who are unaware of just what the faith really is, or cannot pick their testament out of a line-up, we present the Orthodox Niceaen Creed, basis of all True Christian Beliefs
...or so said the Council:
Article 1:I believe in one God,
Article 2:The Father, Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth, of all things visible and invisible,
Article 3:I believe in One Lord, Jesus Christ, only begotten Son of God,
Article 4:Eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten not made,
Article 5:Being of one substance with the Father,
(You have to know these things to be Emperor!)
Article 6:By the Power of the Holy Spirit, He became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
Article 7:He suffered and was buried.
Article 8:On the third day He appeared to rise again. He ascended into Heaven and sits on the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom shall have no end.
Article 9:I believe in the Holy Spirit.
Article 10:The Traditions of the Church are those followed by the Apostles, and should not be changed.