Once tolerant of new ideas, the Church thereafter became intolerant of those that deviated from official Church doctrine as set by Church Council. The first such Council was led by Constantine – so much for separation of Church and State . . .
Durant notes that oftentimes a Church heresy was associated with political rebellion. The principal heresies of the fourth and fifth centuries were as follows: Arianism was strongly associated with the barbarian invasion; it taught that Jesus was not literally the Son of God but of similar being with God. Manicheism was associated with Persian dualism of God and Satan, Good and Evil, Light and Darkness. The Donatists in Africa asserted that the sacraments would have no benefit when administered by a clergyman in a state of sin. Pelagius argued against the doctrine of original sin. We will discuss his ideas more in our discussion of…
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