Why Rome Fell:

God's Providence from Jesus to Sun Myung Moon

Chapter One -- Roman Empire

This book is an extension of the Divine Principle, the basic theology of Rev. Sun Myung Moon.  It will go into more detail of the history of Christianity.  It would be best if you read the Principle first.  In the Principle we learn that mankind fell into ignorance.  This is called the Fall of Man.  Rev. Moon has been the first person in history to discover and teach how mankind fell away from God.  We now know the cause of the problem of evil and therefore can cure our tragic situation.  We learn that God has worked to send a Messiah -- a teacher -- whose mission is to bring the truth that will answer the fundamental questions of life.  Then everyone will have the same ideology and we can live in harmony.

One of the greatest questions is how God has worked to guide human history.  God's goal is the kingdom of heaven on earth, an ideal world.  The Principle teaches the reality of Satan who has worked to thwart God's ideal.  Satan, the Bible says, is the ruler of the world.  God has worked to prepare the world to accept the second coming of Christ.  God has worked to raise mankind to accept the new Messiah for the last 2000 years.  Satan has worked to keep people ignorant.

In the Divine Principle we learn that God gave three blessings -- to be fruitful, multiply and have dominion.  Fruitful means that each person is to grow to have a relationship with God.  We must each have God's values.  Sadly, mankind has been ignorant of who God is.  Who knows absolutely what God's nature is?  Who knows what God's will is?  No one.  Until now.  God has given Sun Myung Moon the keys to building the ideal world where we will all live as one harmonious family.  He brings the truth that will unite mankind and inspire us to build a world that will only know peace for eternity.  Rev. and Mrs. Moon need to be studied.  They are the teachers of who God is.  In the Principle and in their many speeches they speak with absolute confidence how we can be fruitful, multiply and have dominion.  Satan has been successful in keeping people from hearing and understanding the wonderful words of truth in the Divine Principle.  Satan has deceived mankind with his lies.  The highest expression of God has been in the Bible.  Christianity has been the highest religion.  But sadly, Satan has been able to corrupt Christian theology and influenced Christians to act satanically.  It breaks God's heart to see Satan abuse his children.  Jesus is in agony to see Christians misunderstand him and reject the priceless truths given in the Divine Principle.  Eventually the truth will rise.  The evil empire of the Soviet Union scrambled radio waves from the West that tried to send the truth to the Russian people.  Satan scrambles God's messages given by his champions.  But eventually the Soviet Union collapsed.  The Berlin Wall was torn down.  And eventually every person will accept the logical teachings of the Principle.

1. Fruitful

To be fruitful means we need a clear and logical ideology of who God is.  Satan has been successful in making Christian theology a ridiculous superstition.  This has been a key reason why it is still a minority faith in the world after 2000 years.  The key concept that Satan has been able to introduce like a virus into Christian thought is that Jesus is God -- that he preexisted before Adam, came to die and will return on the clouds.  All of this nonsense is pure science fiction.  It is a theology of superstition.  God has never worked that way and never will.  It is ridiculous to believe that Jesus had no physical father.  God and Jesus have worked to send messengers to teach this simple truth, but Satan has been hugely successful in crushing this thought.  The vast majority of Christians hold the incomprehensible view that God is three beings -- a Trinity.  The true view is unitarian, not trinitarian.  There is only one God, not three.  In this book we will see how God has been trying to teach this basic point to fallen man and end the division between God and mankind.

2. Multiply

The second blessing means each person is to marry and have children.  They are to form a godly family.  Men are supposed to be God-centered patriarchs that guide, protect and provide for their families.  Women are to be help mates.  Tragically, Satan has influenced many men to be cruel and irresponsible to their wives and children.  He has been successful in making women be rebellious like Eve.  There has been a battle of the sexes in which no one has won.  A key element of the Messiah's teaching will be on the proper roles of men and women.  Rev. and Mrs. Moon teach how families can have true love.  Sadly, even some of their own children have been attacked by Satan and reject their father as their patriarch.  Satan is powerful, but his days are numbered.   With the Principle we now have the complete truth that will end the division in the family.

3. Dominion

The third blessing from God is that mankind is to build a paradise on earth.  God is a god of science and wants mankind to have the knowledge of how the world works so he can build a technologically advanced world.  Even more importantly he wants mankind to know how to organize themselves into communities and nations that run smoothly.  There are laws of politics and economics that must be obeyed if mankind is to use its creativity and harmoniously build an ideal world.  Satan's ultimate ideology of dominion is that held by Communist countries.  Marx and Engels were messengers and teachers for Satan.  They taught the ideology of feminism and socialism.  They believed in the use of force.

God's way is the sacred beliefs of private property, rule of law, democracy, free enterprise and freedom of religion and speech.  God has worked for 2000 years to teach mankind to not attack minorities.  So many Christians have felt the Bible gave them the right to attack everyone from Jews to Blacks to Asians.  Christian America has killed and jailed many minorities.  It has killed the founder of the Mormon church, Joseph Smith, and jailed innocent men like Martin Luther King and Sun Myung Moon.  The majority of people, polls show, feel it is all right for parents to hire thugs to use brutal force to kidnap and incarcerate any adult who believes in a minority religion.  One of the authors of this book, Clara, was the first person to go through the terrifying ordeal of deprogramming in the Unification Church.  Rev. Moon spoke to her after she eventually escaped.  What did he say?  Seek revenge?  Kidnap her parents and inflict an eye for an eye?  No.  He told her to love her parents.  We will see that Christians have not understood how to use force.  God does not initiate force.  God is patient and trusts that in freedom the truth will rise.  He is for decentralized power.  Power is to be in the family, not the state.  God is for freedom, not coercion.  God is for persuasion, not force.  Satan works to influence people to use the force of the State to crush God's messengers.  The truth hurts to fallen man.  The truths given in this book will be very painful to hear.  Rev. Moon said in his speech at Yankee Stadium that the Messiah comes as a doctor.  His medicine in difficult to swallow.  We don't want to go into surgery.  But we must submit or else Satan's cancer will ultimately be worse.  I pray that you will have the ability to fight Satan's attacks as you read this book and the words of Rev. and Mrs. Moon.  The sooner this world lives by the values they teach, the sooner we can end war in the family and between nations.  They have the keys to world peace.  And Satan makes them look like they are evil.  Don't be like the mob who demanded Jesus' death.  Don't be like Steve Hassan who is like the disciples of Jesus who deserted him.  See the beautiful truth -- the logic -- the common sense -- of the Divine Principle and join in this great crusade to finally bring unity and true love to this divided and unloving world.

We are going to look at the three major empires in the last 2000 years and learn what God wanted for each one.  The first is the Roman Empire, the second is the Holy Roman Empire and the third is the English and then American Empire.  The first empire spoke Latin, the second spoke German, the third spoke English. We will focus on three men who epitomize these empires: Constantine, Charlemagne and Jefferson.


1. Roman Empire                     Constantine                      Latin

2. Holy Roman Empire            Charlemagne                    German

3. American Empire                 Jefferson                           English


Constantine and Charlemagne failed and their empires fell.  Jefferson did many things right and to the degree America has lived his true values, it has prospered.  But America has been declining because it has progressively rejected his values.  For a detailed analysis of this read our books on the internet at www.DivinePrinciple.com.


1. Biblical Theology

Let's look at the first truth and see how Satan was able to bring about the fall of Rome, the fall of Charlemagne's empire in the Middle Ages, and the rise and problems of America.  Jesus was murdered in Israel that was dominated by the Roman Empire.  God had worked to make the Roman Empire the unifying force in the world.  Rome had an amazing system of roads and postal service that united a huge area.  God wanted Jesus' teachings to spread throughout the Roman Empire and then to the rest of the world.  Sadly, Jesus was murdered before he could teach everything mankind needed to hear to bring world peace and unity.  From spirit world, Jesus and others on God's side have been whispering in the ears of those who could understand and have the ability to enlighten them on what God wants.  Satan has been more influential and garbled the messages God was trying so desperately to have mankind hear.

Christianity grew slowly after Jesus' death.  After 300 hundred years there were finally enough Christians to be an influential minority in the Roman Empire.  One of the most amazing stories in history is the conversion of Emperor Constantine to Christianity.  He had a vision.  On October 28, 312 A.D. at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on the Tiber River, he had a vision; he saw a sign in the sky, which said "In this sign conquer."  A number of famous painters have imagined this event.  Just before Constantine came to power, Diocletion was the ruler.  The greatest persecution of Christians in the previous 300 years happened during his reign.  It was like the phrase, darkest before the dawn.  God was able to convert Constantine, but unfortunately, Constantine made many mistakes.  When leaders make mistakes the consequences are devastating to the masses of people who suffer for years until God can find another leader.  God eventually had to abandon Rome and move on to the Germans because Constantine and those emperors who followed him made too many mistakes.  One of the greatest mistakes made in the years from 300 to 400 A.D. was eventually making the view that Jesus was part of a trinity the fundamental belief of Christians in the Roman Empire.  Eventually God had to move on and try to raise a people to understand that there is only one God -- not three.  Jesus has been in unimaginable pain to see Christians not understand even the simplest thing about him.  He was a man.  Period.  He did not pre-exist before Adam and Eve.  Rev. Moon traveled to every state in America in the early 1970s teaching how ridiculous this view is.

Let's look at the story of how God and Satan battled for the mind of Constantine and the religious leaders around him.


At the time when Constantine was being converted God wanted him to have a correct view of Jesus. God inspired Arius, a priest of Alexandria, Egypt, to write and teach and start a movement that said Jesus was not God. God’s way is to surprise and speak through humble people. Arius was about as far away from the Pope in Rome as you could get and he was not a bishop but a priest of the church, the lowest position. God is always surprising the high and mighty in their headquarters in big cities by having the truth come from out in the boondocks by people without fancy degrees or position. God, having won an emperor of Rome, was anxious that Christianity get off on the right track as it was about to grow and God wanted it to sweep the earth. To do this He did not want the illogical view that Jesus was God to prevail.

When Arius started his teaching in 318 which has become known as Arianism, his superior, Bishop Athanasius told him to stop saying that the three persons of the Christian trinity -- the Father, Son and Holy Ghost – were not equal. But Arius kept teaching and so his superior condemned his teachings as heresy and excommunicated him. But Arius continued to teach and attracted many followers. He was greatly admired. A Catholic historian of the time wrote describing Arius saying: "Arius ... was tall and thin, of melancholy look, ... He was known to be an ascetic .... His manner of speaking was gentle; his addresses were persuasive." Just the kind of man God wanted to be his spokesman – of good, dignified character and persuasive. He led an austere life and championed common sense in religion. This helped to make him the idol of multitudes of people. One historian said he was a "genius of propaganda." His teachings were the talk of the town. Everyone chose sides. Arius was a priest or presbyter. They were in charge of individual churches. The regional director was called a Bishop. Arius’ bishop was Bishop Alexander who called together a council of other bishops in the area and condemned Arius as a heretic and excommunicated him. Arius then traveled to other cities and gained support from some bishops and campaigned for his ideas.

One writer of the time, Eusebius, wrote, that it caused such "tumult and disorder ... that the Christian religion afforded a subject of profane merriment to the pagans, even in their theaters." One historian wrote of this time: "The most abstruse theological controversies excited ferocious passions. Gregory of Nyssa remarked that one could not talk to a shopkeeper in the market place, or to an attendant in the public baths, without getting involved in a theological discussion, and very often the discussion was about the relationship of the Son to the Father." Constantine was upset by this chaos because he saw his new found religion as a unifying force. He saw himself as the thirteenth apostle. He took seriously what he considered his mission to promote Christianity. His chief concern was that if the church became divided and torn by doctrinal dissent it would offend God and bring divine vengeance upon the Roman Empire and Constantine himself. He deeply felt that if there was a schism is would be "insane, futile madness" inspired by the "Devil, the author of evil." He saw that it was his personal duty to use his imperial position to remove any error from Christian teaching and propagate the true religion.

Constantine wrote to both Arius and Athanasius to act like calm philosophers and "reconcile their differences peacefully," or at least to keep their debates from the public ear.  He wrote, "The cause seems to be quite trifling, and unworthy of such fierce contests." He criticized Bishop Alexander for giving it importance and writing to all the other bishops and upsetting them. And he chastised Arius saying, "and you, Arius, if you had such thoughts, should have kept silence ... There was no need to make these questions public... since they are problems that idleness alone rises ... these are silly actions worthy of inexperienced children, and not of priests or reasonable man." He felt the issue was trivial and would be resolved without difficulty. His optimism was not justified.

His letter had no effect because the issue was vital to theology and politics. Arius was right and his views were from God who wanted to fundamentally change the Christian church. As the controversy spread, Constantine decided to call for the first general, ecumenical council of Christian leaders in the history of Christianity and he paid for everyone’s traveling expenses. They came from all over the world to meet in Nicea in 325 (what is now Turkey). Constantine presided over the meeting and gave his thoughts as well. There was a lengthy and heated debate. Eusebius reported that Constantine "listened patiently to the debates – moderated the violence of the contending parties" and joined in the debate as well.

Arius argued that Jesus did not pre-exist. He said, "There was time when he was not." They examined Arius’ books in which he wrote, "We confess one God, who alone is unbegotten, alone eternal, alone without beginning, alone true, alone possessing immortality, alone wise and good." He wrote that there is only one unbegotten. The Son of God is begotten and had a beginning. Christ was a created being and therefore not divine.


The main opponent of Arius was Athanasius. He conceded that it was difficult picturing three distinct persons in one God, but reason must bow to the mystery of the Trinity. His view prevailed and they wrote what is today called the Nicene Creed that rejected the Arian’s belief that the Son of God was separate from God the Father. It is the first authoritative declaration of the principal tenets of the Christian faith. And it is fundamentally wrong. Arius refused to sign the statement of beliefs and was condemned and exiled by Constantine. He issued an imperial edict ordering that all books by Arius should be burned. Anyone caught concealing one of his books would be punished with death.

This was a terrible precedent and sowed the seeds for persecution and totalitarianism. Constantine held a royal banquet and everyone celebrated on the last night of the council. They had spent two long months passionately arguing the nature of Jesus and thought the controversy was ended.

Constantine was, like so many leaders in human history, cruel, ruthless and inhumane. The Christian leaders did not teach him to be the kind of leader God wanted. In fact the Christian leaders themselves applauded his ruthlessness. Constantine was confused. He went back and forth on whether Jesus was God. He changed his mind several times. A few years after he had banished Arius, he invited him to a personal conference and after talking to him decided that Arianism was not heresy. He restored Arius and Arians to their churches. Athanasius protested. Constantine then exiled him for two years. It was not unusual at that time for people to wait to be baptized late in life. On his deathbed Constantine had an Arian baptize him.

Constantine was not the intellectual giant that God needed. Providence (history guided by God) was slowed by him and Christian leaders.

There was confusion after he died. His three sons divided the empire among themselves. Typical of the brutality of ancient times they did primitive and brutal things like kill some members of their own family who they mistrusted. Then the three brothers fought each other. One son, Constans, favored Athanasius. He was killed in a war as was another brother in his part of the empire. That left Constatius. His primary interest was in religious affairs. He became violently Arian. He brought the Christological problem to the forefront. He ordered by force that Arianism prevail. He expelled Athanasius. One historian has written, "ecclesiastics loyal to the Nicene Creed were removed from their churches, sometimes by the violence of mobs; for half a century it seemed that Christianity would be Unitarian, and abandon the divinity of Christ." Athanasius had to flee many times, often in peril of his life and wandered in remote lands.

2. Biblical family -- not a good family man

The second thing Constantine did wrong was violate God's laws for family.  He was a terrible family man. He killed some of the members of his own family such as his first wife and their son. He was not supposed to be brutal. God wanted His heroes to have the highest ethical standards. God had the Israelites act what we would call barbaric at times, but with Christians He wanted force to be used only defensively and then to love the defeated enemy and help them. When America helped Japan and Europe rebuild after WWII instead of seeking vengeance as the Allies did on Germany in WWI with the treaty of Versailles, was God's way.

3. Biblical Government

The third thing Constantine and other Christian leaders failed to understand was how to use force.  They became aggressors and rammed their ideology down the throats of others.  A pattern in history we often see is Satan's tactic of using religious leaders to influence government leaders to use violence against what they perceive as heretics.  God wants freedom of religion as well as other freedoms such as those stated in the United States Constitution.  History is the story of brutal leaders dominating their people with the sword.  The Bible says, "Love is patient."  Satan thinks differently.  Many times leaders use force with a motivation to do good.  Satan tricks leaders and many people to believe that initiating force against peaceful minorities is good.  The Shakespeare quote about how Satan can quote scripture for his purposes is true.  One of the ways Satan gets Christians to do harm to non-violent minorities is to whisper in the ears of Christians that they should act like those in the Old Testament, but Jesus came with a higher understanding and lifestyle than those in the Old Testament.

As soon as the Christians gained power they became even more corrupt than those pagans who had persecuted them for the last three centuries.  They not only attacked pagans, but other Christians who differed from them on theology.  It's been two thousand years since Jesus walked the earth teaching tolerance and Christians are still attacking and even killing each other.  Look at Ireland where Catholics and Protestants murder each other.  They even kill each other's children.


Religion and politics are emotional topics.  So many fights and wars have been over different ideologies.  God wants one ideology.  The Messiah brings it.  Until God can send the Messiah, He needs people to prepare the world for him.  Mankind is so dense and stupid because Satan rules.  Satan has had a field day from spirit world manipulating people to go crazy and attack others.  Mankind just can't think clearly.  And then Satan makes people blame God for the problems.  God wants everyone to know the truth so that they can fight Satan.  Satan got Cain to kill his brother Abel and he has gotten nations killing each other.  Satan whipped up the Christians in the Roman Empire to a frenzy when they got into power.  The story of Christians after Constantine is tragic beyond words.  They went nuts.

There were murderous riots between Christians over this ideology. Once in the capital of Rome, an historian wrote that when "Constantine ordered the replacement of the orthodox [official named] Paul by the Arian Macedonius, a crowd of Paul’s supporters resisted the soldiery, and three thousand persons lost their lives. Probably more Christians were slaughtered by Christians in these two years (342-3) than by all the persecutions of Christians by pagans in the history of Rome." One historian wrote, "In spite of isolated cases of persecution an atmosphere of tolerance generally prevailed." Gibbon wrote, "The flames of the Arian controversy consumed the vitals of the empire." One writer wrote at the time, "the enmity of the Christians toward each other surpassed the fury of savage beasts against man." They became fanatics for their religion and denied freedom because they felt were saving souls and the world.


Gibbon wrote that he had the "melancholy truth" and "melancholy duty" to say that although Christians have been persecuted "it must still be acknowledged that the Christians, in the course of their intestine dissension's, have inflicted far greater severities on each other than they had experienced from the zeal of infidels." Gibbon writes that Christians killed Christians in the middle ages and the Protestant Reformation.  "From the twelfth to the sixteenth century, ... the church of Rome defended by violence the empire" ... "disgraced by the proscriptions, wars, massacres..." Used "fire and the sword"... "fury of contending sects" ... "the number of Protestants who were executed in a single province and a single region [during the Protestant Reformation] far exceeded that of the primitive martyrs in the space of three centuries of the Roman Empire."


Before Constantine, Diocletian ruled with an iron hand. He increased the bureaucracy and created a regimented economy. He fixed prices and wages, hoping to check inflation. This did not work and never has. He had extreme regulation. He created a socialist state. He wanted a military state and he created one that looked like the former Soviet Union. He made the imperial office sacred and mysterious.

 Diocletian felt called to turn to totalitarianism because the barbarians were at the gate and it was an emergency. The truth is that the barbarians were at the gate because of internal problems. They are not the problem. Leaders look to others for the cause of problems when often if there is a problem it is their fault. He made taxes so high that one historian wrote that a negative atmosphere was created for entrepreneurs and creative work.  Sadly, this caused "an erosive contest began between lawyers finding devices to evade taxes and lawyers formulating laws to prevent evasion. Thousands of Romans, to escape the tax gatherer, fled over the frontiers to seek refuge among the barbarians."

Diocletian established elaborate ritual in his court. Satan was working to destroy Rome. His low level leaders were despots with absolute power who were ruthless masters over millions of subjects.

Finally, the people rebelled with civil wars. Constantine fought his way to power. It was darkest before the dawn. Diocletian tried to persecute the Christians too. But over the centuries they had grown to be powerful even though they were a minority. God wanted Constantine to reduce centralized control because God wanted freedom but Constantine didn’t. One historian writes that Constantine "carried on most of Diocletian policies. He strengthened the armies, tightened bureaucratic control, further regimented the Roman economy and populace, and took even more power into his own hands. Through his efforts the absolutist, bureaucratic, militaristic state was given permanent form."

In 303, Diocletian "decreed the destruction of all Christian churches, the burning of Christian books, the dissolution of Christian congregations, the confiscation of their property, the exclusion of Christians from public office and the punishment of death for Christians detected in religious assembly. A band of soldiers began by burning to the ground the cathedral at Nicomeia."

The "Christians were now numerous enough to retaliate." Later Diocletian ordered that if they would worship the Roman gods the imprisoned Christians would be freed. Those who refused "would be subjected to every torture known to Rome." This persecution lasted for eight years. Approximately 1500 Christians were killed. Thousands of Christians recanted in this reign of terror. Those that were martyred won converts. Sympathy of the pagan population was stirred against this most ferocious oppression in Roman history. "Many pagans risked death to hide or protect Christians until the storm passed." In 311 Galerius took control and issued an edict of toleration, recognizing Christianity as a lawful religion. "The Diocletian persecution was the greatest test and triumph for the Church. One Church historian, Tertullian, said, "The blood of martyrs is seed." Christians finally won. Never had there been so much confusion in Rome than when Diocletian stepped down.

An historian writes, "The absolutist state, with Diocletian and Constantine had hoped would be able to meet all problems, became a monster consuming the wealth of the empire and killing the spirit of its subjects. The bureaucracy grew costly, corrupt and inefficient. Rigid control of the economy killed off economic expansion and deepened into depression."

Diocletian organized a special force of revenue police to examine every man’s property and income. These agents even tortured men’s wives and children to make them reveal any hidden wealth or earnings of the household.

Many business owners gave up and turned to be hired laborers. Thousands fled over the border to seek refuge among the barbarians. By the time Rome was attacked many citizens felt the invading tribes were not much worse than being in the grip of the Roman totalitarian state.

One historian wrote that "Arianism, overcome within the Empire, won a peculiar victory; among the barbarians."  Peculiar?  Fallen man is blind to the influence of spirit world.  This is why there is the popular expression, God works in mysterious ways.  Knowing the Divine Principle helps us to see the laws of the universe which give us the tools to judge correctly.  Historians don’t know how God is intervening and influencing history. They do not know that He does not use force to initiate proselytizing even though we are to use force in defense of ourselves, but then we are to love our enemy and not crush him like the allies did in WWI against Germany, but help them as they did in WW11. God wants free enterprise and decentralized control. He is more interested in communities than in headquarters.

One historian wrote, "As other barbarians received their Christianity in the fourth and fifth centuries from the Goths [German tribes], nearly all the invaders of the Empire were Arians and the new kingdoms established by them in the Balkans, Gaul, Spain, Italy and Africa were officially Arian."

Edward Gibbon

Gibbon’s book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was an indictment of the institutional church. He was outraged at their religious intolerance and warfare. Christian leaders in England were upset at him for attacking the Church. But Gibbon was blind to how God was working. He was critical of Christianity for being part of the problem of Rome's decline.  He is correct in that but he was wrong in seeing Athanasius as a great Christian – a hero. He didn’t see that divine intervention was on the side of Arius. Gibbon was controversial. There was intense reaction against him for criticizing Christianity. Leaders do not like being criticized, but human history is the history of the failure of leadership. Almost every leader for God has not done the right thing and God feels towards them as Jesus excoriated them in Matt. 23: "you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves." The road to hell has been paved with good intentions by religious and political leaders who have done more harm than good.

Gibbon wrote that he had the duty of discovering "the inevitable mixture of error and corruption which [religion] contacted in a long residence upon earth, among a weak and degenerate race of beings" and of remembering that "truth and reason" rarely triumph easily in this world. He criticized Constantine for being brutal such as when he killed some members of his own family like his first wife and their son. God did not want his leaders to be cruel.

He wrote, "I have purposefully refrained from describing the particular sufferings and deaths of the Christian martyrs. – a long series of horrid and disgusting pictures, and to fill many pages with racks and scourges, with iron hooks and red-hot bed, and all the variety of tortures which fire and steel, savage beasts, and more savage executioners, could inflict on the human body."

One historian wrote, "The persecution of Christians by pagan emperors was never so bloody as the subsequent persecution of heretics and schismatics by Christians, one Constantine had pledged to support the zeal of the Church with the sword of the state."

Gibbon wrote of the Christians, "The Roman world was oppressed by a new species of tyranny."

One book wrote, "Gibbon made no effort to find a neat and brief formula that would adequately explain the actions of many millions of people over a period of several centuries." The Divine Principle has that formula which is greater than the formula E=mc2 because it is the spiritual formula that makes human history make sense. We can see God’s hand working as much with people as we do with the laws of science for things.

One historian wrote that no one has yet found "any consistent theory of historical development."  The Divine Principle gives a "consistent" and logical view of history showing that mankind is slowly progressing to God's goal of an ideal world.

When Christianity was young and a minority in the Roman Empire they were being guided by Satan to create an ideology that would become so corrupted that it could never dominate the earth. The most important revelation Satan gave Christian leaders and thinkers is the "mystery" of the Trinity. God had worked to strengthen the churches so that after three centuries of living in Italy they had become a powerful ministry. It is often darkest before the dawn and Satan inspired Diocletian to create a totalitarian state in 300 A.D. and to persecute Christians as well. But Christianity was too strong by then and God was able to inspire the Roman people to overthrow him. Then Constantine was converted.  Sadly he plunged Rome deeper into darkness.

God wanted Constantine and the Christian leaders to unite on a clear, true ideology and begin the building of a safe, powerful nation that would then use persuasion, not force, to convert the rest of the world. Instead, it went all wrong.  God wants His champions to be like Jesus.  They are supposed to fight the good fight fairly.


God's leader is supposed to love as God loves. He was to be pure and patient and truly feel for God, Jesus and people. Secondly, he was to have honor and intellect. God is a god of science and laws – of common sense. God's people are supposed to love learning. Satan loves illiteracy and superstition. Ignorance is not bliss. Knowledge is power and Satan doesn't want Christians to have knowledge. God wants a balance between the spiritual and physical. We need to live on this physical earth and so must create food, clothing, shelter, transportation, books and entertainment. But we need to build and organize ourselves with God's laws of politics, law, economics and science. Satan is for poverty and inefficiency.

God's chosen people are to show the world perseverance and hard work to witness, teach and persuade, advertise and get their friends to build prosperous, beautiful and loving communities.

Constantine and other Christian leaders failed to do any of these things. He continued the totalitarianism of Diocletian. He had high taxes, and he persecuted pagans. He kept people tied to their occupations and wouldn't let them change jobs. He used force to freeze wages and prices. It didn't work. God wanted him to restore the republic. God wanted democracy like in the Greek city-states of Athens.

When Christianity got control after three centuries of being dominated, they went against God's will by dominating others – and even each other.

The greatest debate in the centuries after they gained power was over the nature of God and Jesus. Satan's spokesman was Athanasius. God picked Arius.

One pagan wrote at the time what many felt about the arrogance of Christian thought: "It is silly to suppose that when God, like a cook, brings the fire, the rest of mankind will be roasted, and only the Christians will remain – not merely the living ones, but those who died long ago, rising from the earth ... really, it is the hope of worms! ... It is only the simpletons, the ignoble, the senseless ... whom Christians can persuade ... the most uneducated and common men."  These criticisms of traditional Christian thought are justified.

The reason the Roman people were upset at Christians was their contempt of everyone else, and they often did not seem patriotic. Romans hated pacifists and many Christians were so otherworldly and some so unpatriotic that they saw them as a danger within.


When there was persecution of them, usually they would not have been tortured or killed if they simply would have said to the court that they would worship the gods or recant their belief. Some did and then continued quietly to be believers until the storm blew over, which it usually did. But some would not. Often their family members would cry outside the jail and beg them to say whatever the court wanted so they could go home, but some just couldn't do it and became martyrs. Many were so strong in their faith that they caused some to convert and many others to respect their dedication.

Tertullian was one of the most famous of early Christian writers. He defended Christians in The Apology of Tertullian as being good citizens and explains all the false ideas and what is really true about them to help teach against the rumors and wild stories about the Christians. He said there should be complete religious toleration.  We have made a similar effort to defend Rev. Moon and his movement from the false view given by its critics in our books. (www.DivinePrinciple.com)

The struggle over Jesus’ nature lasted more than half a century. Arianism prevailed for most of the time. Theodocius (379-395) extinguished it as a political power in the empire.

Athanasius had been exiled five times, but was finally triumphant and was made Patriarch of Alexandria. Theodocius in 380 dismissed the Arians in the churches and in 381 he made the Nicene Creed universally imposed. He dealt harshly with Arians. This was the death blow to Arianism in the Empire so God had to move on to another people to create a world power and base for the coming messiah to use. Without God’s focus Rome declined quickly. After Theodocius, the Empire was permanently split in two. He was the last emperor to rule over a unified Roman Empire.

Alaric, head of the Visigoths, pillaged Rome for three days in 410. This effectively ended the Roman Empire. Alaric was an Arian.

Christians in the Roman Empire were shocked at the sack of Rome. They questioned whether they were to blame. Pagans blamed the Christians. To counter this Augustine wrote The City of God, the first major philosophy of history written. One historian wrote, "Pagans everywhere attributed the disaster to Christianity. ...Many Christians were shaken in their faith. Augustine felt the challenge deeply. He defended Christianity saying Rome had been punished not for her new religion but for her continued sins. He described the indecency of the pagan stage, and quoted Cicero on the corruption of Roman politics." But Augustine was wrong. Moral and political decay played a part, but Christian infighting was the fundamental reason Rome fell. The Roman Empire was the world power for three centuries. It took one century to fall. If Christians had done God’s will and handled power correctly instead attacking Pagans who were in the majority and won them peacefully through persuasion instead of using violence and then killing each other more than the Pagans had killed them, and if they would have understood that political power should be decentralized and had taught Constantine and his successors that high taxes and regulation destroy the economy then Rome would have become even greater than it had in the past and gone on to convert the world. The movement of ideas was easy throughout the world then because of the Roman roads and its fast postal service. Augustine had no understanding that Christians were the major cause of the fall of the Roman Empire, and he set in motion by his influential writings a distaste for things of this world which only made matters worse. He taught and Christendom listened when he said that all "business" is evil because of its "turning men from seeking true rest, which is God." The church became unsympathetic to commerce and suspicious of profit.

Augustine was wrong

Augustine is one of the most influential writers of Christianity. His book City of God is one
of the classics of Western thought. By knowing the Divine Principle we can see that he
incorrectly led Christians down a road of concentrating too much on the spirit and not
enough on the physical. His book is not about building the Kingdom of heaven on earth and
he is wrong in defending Christianity as having no involvement in the fall of Rome. One
book says, "From Charlemagne onward, the Holy Roman Empire was inspired by a
misreading of Augustine’s City of God. Many people felt that he had planned the
establishment of a Kingdom of God on this earth, in the form of a Christian renewal of the
Empire of ancient Rome. This was not really his intent; Augustine’s was an other worldly
ideal, a distinction of two kinds of men, and two societies which would never be formally
institutionalized in the course of time. After the Last Judgment, they were to be separated
in Heaven and Hell." This we know is incorrect.

We read, "At the time that Augustine began to write the City of God, Rome was crumbling
before the advances of the hordes from the north. Many of these invaders were Christians,
partisans of the Arian heresy. To the old-line, pagan families of patrician Rome,
Christianity was loomed as an insidious threat from within, and an open danger from
outside the Empire. Various people, including the important Roman official Marcellinus,
brought this charge to the attention of the Bishop of Hippo [Augustine]. It was widely
rumored that Christianity had become a corroding influence to the Pax Roman. Supporters
of the old paganism welcomed the opportunity to attack the spread of Christianity."

"In the year 413 Augustine set to work to write a reply to this charge." In the City of God
he blames the pagans for the fall of Rome. There is some truth to this. Christians had brought a higher morality, but Charlemagne did more harm than good.

The Fall of the Roman Empire by Michael Grant

"The fall of the Roman Empire has always been regarded as one of the most significant transformations in the whole of human history.  A hundred years before it happened, Rome was an immense power, defended by an immense army.  A hundred years later, power and army had vanished.  There was no longer any Western Empire at all.  Its territory was occupied by a group of German kingdoms."

The Principle explains in the "Parallels of History" that the hundred years from Constantine to Theodocius were critical for Rome.  They failed to be true Christians and lost their empire. God shifted  his focus from the Romans to the Germans.  Professor Grant does not know this.  He is one the most distinquised and respected authorities on the Roman Empire, but without knowing God's providence, He can only see partial truth.

He goes on to say, "This book, being about those ancient happenings, does not try to describe modern ones, and although in writing about that ancient world I have frequently cited the acute problems that surround us today, I do not aspire to suggest how, in detail, they should be solved.  Nevertheless I hope and believe that the reader will feel impelled to conclude that the Roman experience provides sharp and relevant guidance towards their solution.  If such a conclusion is reached, it will be nothing new."  Grant says he does not know how to use the lessons of Rome's fall so that America will not fall.  Sun Myung Moon boldly and confidently teaches what America must do.

Grant continues: "For it has been frequently and strongly felt, through the ages, that this monumental collapse carries permanent lessons and warnings to be heeded by the other great commonwealths which have come after the ancient Romans.  And indeed, the collapse of one of the mightiest civilizations that has ever been known can scarcely fail to be relevant to every one its successors."

"This relevance has not diminished as age has followed age.  The downfall of that earlier Western world deserves the keenest and most meticulous study by its direct heir, the Western world of today.  For we can scarcely flatter ourselves that our own social, political and cultural system is still at its height and prime.  It seems to have reached a climacteric.  But how near is it to collapse?  Perhaps quite near, as energy crises and other menaces to stability pressingly suggest.  Perhaps not so near after all."  The future of America as well as that of the world depends on how fast they live by the principles taught in the revelations of Rev. Moon.  If Rome would have done as Jesus wanted they would have grown to even greater heights of power and influence.  The hope of the world is the Messiah.  He is the leader we must follow.  If we reject him, we reject God.  If we reject God, we reject the truth that will save us from Mankind's enemy, Satan.

Grant writes, "When we look for correspondences with the Roman story which is the theme of this book -- the story which reaches its end in 476 -- what date, approximately, do we seem to have come to?  395, or 405, or 429?  The question should, perhaps not be posed in quite that form, since history does not repeat itself exactly.  Nevertheless, the feeling that we are somewhere within that range of years persists.  Whatever stage of the process we have reached, it is important that we should observe the disintegration of Rome.  For not only was this a most dramatic and memorable process, but it shows us some of the fatal mistakes which we ourselves can avoid in the future." In the Principle we learn that the division is 392 when Theodocius made Christianity the State religion.  On the surface this may sound like a good thing.  His motivation was right, but he actually sabotaged Rome from being God's champion because he used the power of the State to persecute those who did not conform to his definition of Christianity.  It was not God's will to use coercion.  Without knowing the Divine Principle we see through a glass darkly.  Professor Grant sees some truth, but with Sun Myung Moon's teachings we have the answers to the fundamental questions of life.  And one of those questions is: Why did Rome fall?  Fallen man has many theories because he sees through man's eyes, but with the Messiah we get the absolute truth because we see through God's eyes.

Professor Grant continues saying, "Hundreds of reasons have been suggested for the collapse of the Roman West.  Some indication of their variety can be obtained from reading Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline of the Roman Empire.  He lists at least two dozen supposed causes of that decline and fall -- military, political, economical and psychological.  Many of these 'causes' will be referred to in the pages that follow.  But the historian himself made made no attempt to marshal them one against another, or choose between them.  That is rather disconcerting for the reader who is searching for quick answers.  But it also shows a good deal of prudence.  For an enormous, complex institution like the Roman Empire could not have been obliterated by any single, simple cause."

"It was brought down by two kinds of destruction: invasions from outside, and weaknesses that arose within.  The invasions are easy to identify .... However, they are not sufficiently formidable in themselves to have caused the Empire to perish."

"It perished because of certain internal flaws which prevented resolute resistance to the invaders .... I have identified thirteen defects which, in my view, combined to reduce the Roman Empire to final paralysis.  They display a unifying thread: the thread of disunity.  Each defect consists of a specific disunity which split the Empire wide apart, and thereby damaged the capacity of the Romans to meet external aggressions.  Heaven forbid that we ourselves should have a monolithic society without any internal disunities at all, or any differences of character or opinion.  But there can arrive a time when such differences become so irreconcilably violent that the entire structure of society in imperiled.  That is what happened among the ancient Romans.  And that is why Rome fell."

Grant is right that the cause of all problems is disunity.  The most fundamental one is a disunity between mankind and God and therefore between mankind and the Messiah.  Grant does not know this basic fact.  Everything revolves around the leadership of the Messiah and God's messengers.  He also has fallen man's fear of absolute unity.  God's goal is an ideal world of no internal disunities.  It is monolithic.  There are no differences in "character or opinion."  At least of the basic fundamental questions.  There will be incredible creativity in the Kingdom of Heaven because people are not divided over what are the values we live by.  Grant does not know that everyone will be united in agreeing that Jesus is the Messiah.  He is ready to settle for a certain degree of unity -- enough unity to keep society from falling apart, but he doesn't know that God wants a lot more unity than that.

Let's continue looking at what Grant has to say: "This theme has its modern dimension also.  For on investigation it seems to emerge that, in spite of the inevitable changes of conditions between that time and this, Rome actually suffered from very similar disunities to those which are racking the Western world today.  And so their identification assumes an additional, special urgency.  However, I have not attempted to flag or discuss every parallel, every similarity.  Some are self-evident, others I have pointed out, but in the main I thought it best to leave it to the reader to perceive current directions and deteriorations, and to appraise their impact on today's world."

This is a weak man speaking here.  Sun Myung Moon and all of God's messengers speak with confidence.  There is nothing wishy washy about Rev. Moon.  This scares fallen man who wants his cake and eat it too.  Somehow we are to have enough unity to build a great empire where there is order, peace, creativity and lasts forever while at the same time not be "monolithic."  The only way anything will last forever is because it is in line with absolute truth.  Grant does not know that Satan and God are both whispering in his ear.  Grant is the leading authority on the fall of Rome and sadly cannot speak boldly and teach what America and the world must do so that we not only don't fall, but grow to greater heights of greatness.

Even so, he does have a few good points in the middle of his mush.  His views on Augustine are right on target.  He says that Augustine believed that everyone who wasn't the kind of Christian he was will "be tormented for ever in hell-fire.  For him, as for the Emperors, there could only be one single church.  And those who stayed outside it, however eloquently they might call themselves Christians, were outside the Body of Christ."

Augustine wrong

"Initially, Augustine had rejected the use of force against heretics, as he rejected it in the first place against pagans as well.  But later, after prolonged thought, he changed his mind, because 'he had learnt their potential wickedness, and how they could benefit from discipline'.  So he came round to a belief in coercion, convincing himself, as he had convinced himself about the pagans, that the state must be called in to compel them to conform.  For this forcible method, he now explained, was really like giving medicine to an unwilling patient -- and could therefore even be described as a true work of love: 'loving with severity' was better than 'deceiving with indulgence', and Emperors, with all their array of repressive resources, could serve God in a way which private citizens could not emulate.  In a letter to Vincentius, bishop of Tenes in Algeria, he enlarged on the reasons for this altered attitude. ... 'For originally my opinion was that no one should be coerced into the unity of Christ, that we must act only by words, fight only by arguments, and prevail by force of reason, lest we should have those whom we knew to be avowed heretics feigning themselves to be Catholics.'"

"'... But this opinion of mine was overcome not by the words of those who controverted it, but by the conclusive instance to which they could point.  For in the first place, there was set over against my opinion my own town which, although it was once wholly on the side of Donatism, was brought over to Catholic unity by the fear of the imperial edicts.  I was made to own that to this matter the word of Scripture might be understood as applying: 'Give opportunity to a wise man and he will become wiser.'  But 'opportunity' was nothing better than a euphemism for violent suppression."

"Later, in the City of God, Augustine added the paradoxical justification that those who could really claim to be victimized were not the heretics at all but the faithful who were their persecutors -- because the very existence of such evil-doers caused loyal Christians to 'suffer persecution, not in their bodies but in their hearts'.  Hence the psalmist says, 'According to the multitudes of sorrows in my heart' -- not 'in my body'."

"But this did not help the heretics, whom the government, agreeing on political grounds with Augustine's theological arguments for compulsion, was now using force to bring into line."

"This systematic, active intolerance was something hitherto unknown in the Mediterranean world.  It reflected the growth of dogma, which in turn reflected a decline of rational intellectual activity."

"And now Augustine had placed himself in the forefront of this intolerant movement.  Because of his eloquence and influence, he has been declared the Prince and Patriarch of Persecutors.  He has also been denounced as the forerunner and first theorist of the Spanish Inquisition.  It is only fortunate that, since he lived across the sea in North Africa, he was not in a central enough position to make himself the Grand Inquisitor of the whole Roman world.  But even so, the damage done by the coercion he favoured and encouraged was great.  Voltaire and Gibbon were right to blame the hostility between Christian and Christian, as well as between Christian and Pagan, for helping to bring down the Empire."

I agree.  Augustine and coercive Christians like him have caused great "damage" to God's providence.

And 2000 years later, the majority of people condone the violence of kidnapping and the persecution of small religious groups like the Unification Church.  Putting Sun Myung Moon in jail is a cause of celebration for most people.  The media favors those who have used force on others such as Rick Ross and Steve Hassan and puts them on national TV as experts.  The result is that Americans trust the media who create an atmosphere of intolerance that leads to children burned to death at Waco.  Hassan writes how the Unification Church members and their leader are evil and dangerous.  He is the darling of the media who, like Augustine, cause great "damage" to our nation.  Like Augustine, they see that peaceful people need to be regulated and jailed for the good of society.  Then they quote Jefferson to rationalize their violence and harassment.  Their motivation and desire is for a stable, healthy society, but they fear anything that is not the status quo.  They fear other points of views and lifestyles that differ too much from what is "normal."  Celibate monks spread eagled on a floor in front of the chief priest in a deserted monastery is now normal.  But bowing to a Korean man who tells them to have many children and witness with more passion than any other church is just too much.  The absolutes in a Catholic monastery are normal.  The absolutes of pacifism in a Hutterite community in North Dakota are normal.  The absolutes in the Unification Church are weird and dangerous.  Steve Hassan and Craig Maxim are just busybodies like some annoying fly that won't go away or some dog barking at birds and chasing cars.  Hassan and Maxim are just the latest in a long line of Augustines who justify their intolerance and coercion with high sounding words.  It is like Communists arguing for total control and blasting America for its greed and corruption.  Yes, America has problems, but the Communists have far more problems.  Yes, the Unification Church has made mistakes, but they have never made mistakes as great as Steve Hassan has made.  They have never used force on anyone. Steve has.  Steve has tried to brainwash someone and use mind control on people who are locked in room and can't leave until they agree with Steve.  He is their leader and by God, they won't leave until they bow to Steve as their enlightened one and denounce their former leader.  Steve is like Augustine who thinks jail time for Moon and his followers would be wonderful for society and, of course, it would be the very best thing for the dreaded "Moonies" who will be given a breather from the hypnotic Dr. Evil who controls their minds.  The whole thing would be laughable if it wasn't that Moon did go to jail and children went up in flames because Hassan and his yapping friends whipped up men with tanks to crush a peaceful group worshipping God in a way that was different than Hassan's Judaism that he now has embraced and Maxim's fundamental Christianity.

Maxim has a picture in his website showing him picketing a mass wedding given by Moon. He has Hassan standing next to him.  They have signs saying they are ex-moonies and proud of it.  Let's look at the logic of this.  Maxim thinks Hassan is going to burn in hell because he does not believe in Jesus.  Hassan does not think Jesus is the Messiah and many of Maxim's heroes in the Christian Right are dangerous like Moon.  Moon teaches that everyone will go to heaven and is hugging Jerry Falwell.  Out of these three guys who sounds and looks the most impressive?  Hassan and Maxim have an inferior ideology and favor coercion.  Moon and his so-called mindless followers have not made it their life's work to get Hassan and Maxim in jail.  They are busy teaching that God loves everyone who will end up in heaven and that it is evil to initiate violence.  Moon teaches tolerance; Hassan and Maxim teach intolerance.  It doesn't matter that the motivation of Tom Brokaw at NBC NEWS is well meaning when they lift up Hassan and Maxim.  It doesn't matter that Hassan and Maxim say they are so sensitive and love people so much in their crusade against Moon.  What matters is the result.  And the result of the bigotry and ignorance and paranoia of Hassan is the same as the result of Augustine's motivation.  It is the decline of America.  Moon is not dangerous. He is the savior of America who teaches what America must do to become great again and not fall.  Hassan and Maxim and all those in the media, academics and government who send in the tanks are the dangerous people.  Persecution is the one of the worst evils one can do.  Killing Jesus, Joseph Smith and Martin Luther King is at the top of the list of the cause of the fall of nations.  Hassan and his buddies are dupes of Satan.  Augustine's legacy is a terrible human history of violence against "rabble rousers" and "enemies of the state" who turn out to be many people from Jesus to Sun Myung Moon.

Grant does not know the magnitude of the damage Christians like Augustine did to the Roman Empire.  He doesn't know the magnitude of the crime of killing Jesus in Israel.  He doesn't know the magnitude of America jailing Sun Myung Moon.  Some good and God-centered people like Jerry Falwell have learned from history and befriended Moon.  Even the President of the United States, George Bush has seen that Rev. Moon is good.  Tom Brokaw and Steve Hassan just can't believe it.  They are intellectual dinosaurs.  Eventually everyone will climb out of the dark pit Hassan and his fellow persecutors live in and see the light.  Eventually everyone will accept the basic teachings Jefferson wrote in America's founding documents and Baden Powell wrote in the Boy Scout Manual that teaches tolerance for other's religious beliefs.  God's will was for Augustine and the early Christians to not get the police to throw those they didn't approve of in jail.  Rome fell because of it and America continues to decline because of it.  Hassan apparently had a jerk in the church tell him that it is all right to kill his parents.  He is upset that someone witnessed to him and didn't say the name of the church.  He is livid that he worked long hours and didn't get a degree or big bucks in his pocket.  So what?  That's life.  Religions have asked many things.  Does it make any sense for any of the many former Jews to bitch relentlessly because they left and found Jesus and feel they almost lost their eternal soul?  Would it be right to harass the Jewish community by calling them dangerous and making a crusade of calling Moses a charlatan?  Would it make any sense for a person to make a crusade of calling the Pope a charlatan because he kept thousands of people from having children and wearing boring black robes all their life?  Maria in the Sound of Music asks permission to marry a man.  Hassan and Maxim and Time Magazine see deadly mind control when people are just being religious.  And they have the right to do that and shouldn't have to spend time defending themselves in court against the likes of Margaret Singer.

The key to understanding the Fall of Rome and therefore to understanding how to build happy and ever improving societies is to deeply understand the magnitude of the truth Jefferson and the Founding Fathers of America wrote in their precious documents.  They wrote against the diabolical books such as Augustine's City of God and Rev. Moon is teaching America to restore those values instead of accepting the satanic junk Hassan and Singer teach in their books.

In Grant's book, History of Rome, he wrote that some emperors were "tolerant to 'heretics' within the Christian ranks as to pagans outside them."  But he says Theodocius was one of the worst.  He says, "especially Theodocius I, who issued repeated  laws and edicts against nonconformist Christians.  And Augustine, brooding on his own earlier spiritual deviations, concluded that Christian heretics as well as pagans must be brought into the fold by force.  He quoted the scriptural text; 'give opportunity to a wise man and he will become wiser.'  But 'opportunity' was only a euphemism for violent suppression; and it was in the same spirit that Pope Leo I later declared that 'truth, which is simple and one, does not admit of variety.'  Manichaeans and Jews, too, continued to fare much worse under the Christian emperors than under their pagan predecessors.  But persecution, as always, deepened rather than closed the rifts and made the united loyalty, which the empire so desperately needed, even more of a will-o'-the-wisp than ever."

"Moreover, the psychological attitudes of pagans and Christians alike were equally unhelpful to the government in its unsuccessful struggle to insure national survival.  The pagans, on the whole, relied too complacently on the glories of the past; and the Christian theologians preached doctrines that deprecated the importance of serving the state."

Many Christians have misunderstood that God and Jesus are not pacifists and otherworldly.  Grant goes on to rightly criticize the Christian church for weakening people's patriotism and sense of civic responsibilities.  He writes, "The great Christian theologians, on the other hand, men of superior brains and character who in earlier times would have joined the public service instead of the church, were often guilty of a different but equally serious disservice to the state, namely, the active discouragement of Christians from working on its behalf, either in a peaceful or a warlike capacity.  This attitude, easily justifiable from the New Testament, had been natural enough in the old days when the civil authorities were engaged in persecuting Christianity.  But it is remarkable that, even after the empire had become Christian, the leaders of the church should still persist in their old conviction that Christianity was incompatible with state service. And yet that is what happened: a series of popes continued to pronounce that to work for the government was perilous to a man's soul; and St. Martin of Tours, founder of monasteries in Gaul, asked to be released from the Roman army because he was Christ's soldier and could not fight for his country.  When such views took hold of the population, the power of the empire to resist its foes was weakened."


"It was sapped further by Augustine.  He was not, it is true, a pacifist; indeed he conceded that a literal interpretation of Christ's saying 'turn the other cheek' would ruin the state.  But the massive twenty-two books of his City of God undermined patriotism by more insidious means.  In this supreme literary masterpiece of the later Roman empire, from which medieval thinkers derived a large proportion of all they knew about the ancient world, he called up all the resources of pagan philosophy and Christian doctrine alike to make a sharp distinction between the earthly city and its counterpart in heaven.  Plato and Paul had told of such ideal cities before, but Augustine, writing soon after Alaric's sack of Rome, described the concept with a vividness that was altogether new.  And he infused it with a distinct uphopefulness about the future of any and every terrestrial state.  He had felt this before, and now it seemed to him more than ever that Christianity was the crop coming just before the icy frosts of winter -- frosts that would freeze the nations of the world to death."

"True, his 'earthly city,' which contains not only the sinners of this world but unrighteous men and women anywhere in the universe, is a wider concept than the Roman Empire.  All the same, Augustine's pessimism carries gloomy implications for the future of Rome's civilization -- or rather, of the human endeavor that was needed to maintain it.  His doctrine of grace, adapted from Saint Paul, maintained that by our own unaided will, without God-given aid, human beings are incapable of achieving anything at all.  It was a decisive break with the optimistic, humanistic attitudes of the classical world.  And it was deeply resented by men such as Pelagius, a British or Irish theologian who, in the spirit of Cicero, laid strong counteremphasis on individual effort.  Violent controversies ensued -- and the Pelagians were suppressed."

"Augustine had cut Rome firmly down to size.  Its interests could no longer be help paramount: 'Please pardon us if our country, up above, has to cause trouble to your. ... You would acquire still greater merit if you served a higher fatherland.'  And indeed, as he grew older, Augustine came more than ever to reject any identification between Christianity and empire.  In terms of world politics, he did not prevail because the identification had come to stay.  But his influence was widespread, and his refusal to believe in a Christian empire was a part and parcel of the West's failure to defend itself against its enemies and stave off its own collapse."

Christians not all bad - did some things to help raise mankind

Christianity did many good things such as expanding charity. It sanctified marriage with a solemn ceremony and elevated it to a sacrament from a contract. Christianity taught higher morals and sexual purity. It was a wholesome influence upon Roman life in many ways. Nevertheless, the cup was less than half empty and God had to abandon the Roman Christians.

Christianity evolved from simple meetings in private dwellings for a common meal and prayers to services conducted by clergy with elaborate attire and rituals. They started making a complicated theology. God wanted simplicity. As the clergy gained power they turned to government to use force.

God had to abandon his champions, the Roman Christians, because they did not have the right ideology, used violence against others who did not believe as they did, and this caused them to build low standard families.  Families cannot be of God if they persecute others.  In other words Roman Christians were not of Jesus.  Voltaire correctly said of Christians, "Of all religions, Christianity is without doubt the one that should inspire tolerance most,
although, up to now, the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men."


Germanic tribes - God’s new chosen people

Arian missionaries converted the German tribes of northern Europe to Christianity during the 4th and the 5th centuries. The first Bible translated into the language of the German tribes was Arian. All the kingdoms in Europe were officially Arian to begin with. Arianism held its ground until the Franks were converted to orthodoxy and overthrew the Visigoths. When the Germanic tribes turned away from anti-Trinitarianism, Christianity lost power. If it had united under the belief that Jesus was not born of a virgin and was a man, Christianity would have swept the earth. Instead, other religions filled the void and grew.

In Arnold Toynbee's A Study of History he writes that the barbarian invaders were Arian,
"On the European front the barbarian invaders of that generation, in so far as they were
not still pagans, were Arians, and, although their original conversion to Arianism rather
than Catholicism had been the result of chance, their subsequent fidelity to Arianism, after
that heresy lost its temporary vogue within the Christianized Hellenic World, was the
result of deliberate preference.  Their Arianism was henceforth a badge, deliberately worn
and sometimes insolently displayed, of the conquerors' social distinction from the
conquered population."

Toynbee misreads history here.  The barbarians were not Arians just because the Romans
were not.  They were not being insolent, but simply believing in what made more sense.
And their conversion to Arianism was not, as Toynbee says, by "chance."

But Satan was influencing orthodox missionaries to convert the Franks. In 589 the king of the Goths was converted to orthodox Christianity and the Franks won over them. Exactly 21 years later in 610 Mohammed began the only other major monotheistic religion in the world - Islam. Satan has influenced them to stop freedom of religion and it is a crime to witness for Christianity in many Islamic countries. Mohammed received the revelation that God is one and Jesus was a man, but Satan garbled the transmission and Mohammed rejected Jesus as the messiah. He was supposed to understand that Jesus was a man and the messiah. Now God had another headache as Islam captured the souls of many millions of people and is today a great block to the building of the Kingdom. They were wrong to have the symbol of the sword. Islam is not conducive for the growth of freedom. It persecutes Christians and will not let them freely proselytize in many of their countries.

There are mathematical timetables here. Christians went through three centuries, 300 years, before they were in control. They had 100 years to make Rome a great Christian nation. Four is the symbol of earth, three of spirit. They had 300 years of spirit and were within 400 years to manifest it on earth physically. But they failed and God chose the Christians in north Italy, the Visigoths to be his champions. They were Arian. But they failed to convert the Franks, the Cain side of Germany. In 600 years, if they had been united, they would have proselytized the rest of the world and Mohammed would have been a Christian who was anti-Trinitarian and a follower of Jesus as the messiah who wanted to build a physical kingdom of heaven. Augustine would not have led Christianity down the path of unbalanced focus on the spirit instead of seeing that God made our physical bodies and physical things to be spiritual too. They took asceticism too far. If they would have had done right they would have had better lives. The life for most people in Germany was in Hobbes famous phrase, "nasty, brutish and short." Average life expectancy was under thirty years. Most people died of illness, hunger and periodic famines. Then there was human violence. Most were illiterate. Human history has been political and religious turbulence.

When God’s central figures fail, great repercussions happen. Physically and spiritually people suffer. There is great physical and spiritual poverty. Germany would have become rich physically and spiritually if Charlemagne had not failed.


1.  Biblical Theology

Charlemagne or Charles is called the "Father of Europe."  How successful was this patriarch?  He felt that the Church was the greatest unifying force in his vast realm and everyone needed to have a common belief in Christ. History is repeating itself again in that he is like Constantine. And like Constantine he had to deal with Arianism. A bishop in far away Spain, at the other end of his empire, started teaching against the virgin birth and the trinity. He began converting people. It spread quickly through Spain and into Aquitaine (what is today France). The Pope condemned the doctrine but it continued to spread. One history book says it "spread with amazing rapidity in Spain and crossed the border into Aquitaine. Bishops, priests and monks as well as the people made it their own. Thousands upon thousands accepted it as truth. The Pope condemned the doctrine, calling it blasphemous and serpent’s venom, but still it continued to spread." In the words of one contemporary, there were "two churches quarreling with each other over the One Church."  This is a typical pattern in human history -- a conflict between two sides: one Cain; one Abel.

"It was at this crucial moment that Charles, realizing that words of condemnation would not stem the growth of this heresy, decided to act." He picked a prominent bishop who was preaching this "heresy" and marched to his town. They had a passionate debate. Charlemagne chose wrong and condemned him. He ordered that all books by him and other Arians to be burned.  God's way is for freedom of belief.  Christians were wrong in banning  and burning books.  Some Christians in the 20th Century America still want to ban books.  They are wrong in their efforts, even if the books and films they want to ban are satanic.  Karl Marx's books, pornography and any other expression should not be regulated by government force.

Charlemagne was brutal and cruel like Constantine. He crushed Pagans wherever he went pitilessly.

Facing Charlemagne, Bishop Felix recanted his beliefs and was allowed to continue being a bishop. But, "he stubbornly reverted to his heresy, preaching it with more fervor than ever. Charles was enraged. He condemned the Bishop and threatened him. Once again the Bishop started preaching again. Charles held a third trial. He forced Bishop Felix to go to a different city and be watched over closely by its bishop for the rest of his life."

Charlemagne then sent messengers on horseback throughout his Kingdom "to wipe out the heresy. It was a gigantic task but their efforts were successful." Charlemagne was proud that he had saved the unity of the Church. Unfortunately, Europe was doomed to not be united from then on. One history book says this about this "heresy": "For centuries it never really died out entirely in Southern France and northern Spain."

Charlemagne was very religious. He often had someone read aloud at dinner from his favorite book, Augustine’s The City of God. He loved learning. God used him to advance learning. But without a truer ideology, it took a long time before people could be literate.

2.  Biblical Family  -- Charlemagne Fails

Charlemagne had no good family values. He callously drove off his first wife for another. And he deserted the second. He had many mistresses and children from them. He lusted after women.

3.  Biblical Government

He tried his best to organize his vast empire that is today all of Europe, but he failed to leave a constitution that would have given the people a democracy.  The history of mankind has been mainly the history of Kings and kingdoms.  God wanted his champions to introduce democracy.  This is why the first great empire of the world, Athens, Greece hundreds of years before Jesus was so successful.  Rome started out as a republic and then turned to authoritarian leaders.  Satan invaded God's efforts to have a democratic Roman Empire when Jesus was born.  God continued to work with Europe after Charlemagne to inspire it to decentralize power.  That is one of the the reasons for the Protestant Reformation -- to decentralize the power to people instead of the authoritarian Catholic Church that like so many who get power are corrupted by it.

Reformation turned violent

We learn in the Divine Principle that God sided with the Protestants in the Reformation.  Protestants were Abel; Catholics were Cain.  God had hoped that Martin Luther in 1517 would have elevated Christianity higher to accept the true view of Jesus such as that he was a man, not God and to use persuasion instead of force on those who disagreed with them.  Sadly this did not happen.  Let's look at the failure of Calvin who was supposed to accept unitarian thought and not use violence.

Tragic case of Servetus

Once again, God spoke through someone far away from the center of power. When Martin Luther hammered his ninety-five criticisms on the door of Wittenberg Cathedral, Michael Servetus was a six-year-old boy living in Spain. He remembers feeling something was wrong with the Church even at that young age. Years later he wrote of what he felt when as a young boy he watched the Pope crown Spain’s Charles V as Roman emperor. He wrote of the experience saying, "With these very eyes I saw him [the Pope] borne with pomp on the shoulders of princes, and in the public streets adored by the whole people kneeling, to such a point that those that succeeded even in kissing his feet or shoes deemed themselves happy beyond the rest. Oh, beast of beasts the most wicked! Most shameless of harlots!"


Servetus was a passionate man and wrote without holding any emotion back. Fourteen years after Luther’s protest, Servetus, age 20, made his protest. This young man wrote a book that was the talk of nations. God, once again, had spoken through someone who did not have fancy titles and lived in the boondocks. He was the younger Abel trying to lead his elder brother Cain. Servetus got the same reaction as Abel did.

In the book The Epic of Unitarianism we read, "Servetus’ reaction against the incomprehensible theology and worldly corruption of the Church focused on the doctrine of the Trinity. As a brash youth of twenty, he set out to convince the leaders of the Protestant movement that they were wrong about the Trinity, and that he was right. When his letters and conversations failed to move them, he presented his case in a learned, shrewd, and impertinent book, On the Errors of the Trinity (1531)."

He wrote, "In investigating the holy mysteries of the divine Triad, I have thought that one ought to start from the man; for I see most men approaching their lofty speculation about the Word without having any fundamental understanding of Christ, and they attach little or no importance to the man, and give the true Christ quite over to oblivion. But I shall endeavor to recall to their memories who the Christ is."


He said that the teaching of the trinity is so ridiculous it makes people around the world laugh. The other two monotheistic religions of the world will never see who Christ is while Christians believe in their polytheism: "How much this tradition of the Trinity has, alas! been a laughing-stock to the Mohammedans, only God knows. The Jews also shrink from giving adherence to this fancy of ours, and laugh at our foolishness about the Trinity; and on account of its blasphemies they do not believe that this is the Messiah who was promised in their law. And not only Mohammedans and Hebrews, but the very beasts of the field, would make fun of us did they grasp our fantastical notion, for all the works of the Lord bless the one God...." He goes on to say that "this plague of philosophy" is from people who "never understood the passages of Scriptures." He writes, "may this blasphemous and philosophical distinction of three beings in one God be rooted out from the minds of men."

Servetus = Abel    Calvin = Cain

Servetus published his own book and printed out 1000 copies and sent one to Calvin. Calvin said the book was "ravings" but did not write back. Servetus then wrote to a minister: "Your gospel is without God, without true faith, without good works. Instead of a God you have a three-headed Cerberus ... You close the kingdom of Heaven before men ... woe! woe! woe! I have written to warn you, that you may know better. In this fight I know that I surely die ... but I do not falter. Christ will come."

One book says, "Servetus’ book was a best-seller. It ignited smoldering embers of Antitrinitarian sentiment in Germany, Switzerland, and especially in Italy, where a number of Protestant dissenters had gathered, later to produce some of the leaders of Polish Antitrinitarianism."

"But the Reformers, whom Servetus had hoped to convert, recoiled in shock and dismay. They were shocked by his effrontery and insults, dismayed at what his views might do to the young Protestant movement if left unchecked. The Reformers also feared a renewal of Catholic suppressions if Protestant doctrine deviated too far. Thus Servetus, while intending the opposite, forced the Protestant leaders to embrace the Trinity ever more zealously." This is the dilemma all God’s champions have. They are to respect their elders and parents but they must also be critical of their errors. God has worked throughout history to make those in leadership be more humble and not turn to violence against those who disagree with them. God’s dispensation has been one of tolerance."

"Almost immediately the sale of Servetus’ book was forbidden in leading Protestant cities. The Spanish Inquisition sought unsuccessfully to bring him to trial." Servetus fled to France and lived under an assumed name and became a doctor. But he couldn’t give up his mission to teach the true view of Jesus and wrote another book, The Restoration of Christianity, "which offered a plan for the complete reformation of the Christian churches – Catholic and Protestant alike – based on the teachings of Jesus." He wrote it under his new name but he was quickly exposed for who he was. "The French Inquisition imprisoned him, but he escaped. En route to Naples, Italy, where he had friends, he passed through Geneva, but was recognized and immediately arrested. Calvin, who had once boasted that should Servetus ever come to Geneva he would never let him get away alive, had his man." Servetus was recognized because he was so famous.

"Servetus, rotting in prison, was tried before the Council of Judges in Geneva. Calvin helped to convict him. He was found guilty and died in flames October 26, 1553."

The court ruled saying his book was "against the Holy Trinity containing many great blasphemies to the scandal of the churches of Germany." He continued "to spread the venom of his heresies and horrible, execrable blasphemies against the Holy Trinity.... He calls this Trinity a diabolical monster with three heads ... a three-headed Cerberus.... He has been burned in effigy with five bales of his books."

"You have with malicious and perverse obstinacy sown and divulged even in printed books ... against the fundamentals of the Christian religion, and that you have tried to make a schism and trouble the Church of God by which many souls may have been ruined and lost, a thing horrible, shocking, scandalous and infectious. And you have had neither shame nor horror of setting yourself against the divine Majesty and the Holy Trinity, and so you have obstinately tried to infect the world with your stinking heretical poison... For these and other reasons, desiring to purge the Church of God of such infection and cut off the rotten member, having taken counsel with our citizens and having invoked the name of God to give just judgment ... speaking in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we now in writing give you final sentence and condemn you to be bound and taken to a stake and burned with your book to ashes. And so you shall finish your days and give an example to others who would commit the like."  Orthodox Christians still view unitarian thought as a "stinking heretical poison."

At the trial Calvin personally appeared to accuse him. Servetus boldly defended his views. He was sentenced to death for the heresy of Unitarianism. He pleaded for mercy. But to the end he would not recant his beliefs and one contemporary wrote, "he besought God to pardon his accusers. He was fastened to a stake by iron chains, a rope was wound four or five times around his neck, and his last book was bound to his side. When the flames reached his face he shrieked with agony. After half an hour of burning he died." Catholics and Protestants united in approving this sentence. He was burned in absentia effigy by the Catholic authorities in France while the Protestants burned him in actuality. This is not a coincidence. Entire Christendom condemned him and therefore God had to move on to a new nation. Servetus was a martyr and saint in God’s eyes, but a heretic in the eyes of traditional Christianity that has always had the problem of seeing from God’s viewpoint.

One book said, "Scarcely were his ashes cold before there arose a controversy over the punishment of heretics."... "The image of Servetus dying in flames, just because his view of the Trinity differed from Calvin’s, caused a storm of outrage. Calvin cried that ‘the dogs are barking at me on all sides,’ and was almost forced to leave Geneva. To justify himself he hastily wrote a Defense of the Orthodox Faith respecting the Holy Trinity, against the prodigious errors of ... Servetus early in 1554. Believing heresy to be worse than murder, Calvin argued that Servetus had to be put to death, else his heresy contaminate all Christendom."

Calvin felt blasphemers of God were worse than murderers because a "murderer merely kills the body, while heresy accepted damns the soul to everlasting hell." Calvin crushed anyone who attacked the fundamental assumptions of Christianity. Those who spoke out for freedom of worship were banished or beheaded.

Calvin believed God "has explicitly instructed us to kill heretics, to smite with the sword any city that abandons the worship of the true faith revealed by Him. Calvin quoted the ferocious decrees of Deut 13:5-15, 17;2-5; Exodus 22:20 and Lev. 24:16. God, he says, demands 'extreme severity' if we have Him in our 'combat for His glory.'"

One book said, "Far more Christians were murdered by Christians during the Reformation than the believers sacrificed in three centuries of Roman persecution."  Calvin is one of the greatest failures in Christianity.  He was cruel.

"Therefore when Calvin came to dictatorial power in Geneva, he saw to it that every man’s mortal acts were judged vigorously. The city’s 16,000 inhabitants were spied upon and
punished for acts considered heretical or immoral by Calvin and the elders. During the
years 1542-1546 the little town witnessed fifty-eight executions and seventy-six
banishments. The theater was banned as immoral, bright colors in dress were forbidden,
swearing and dancing were punished, and nobody was allowed to sit up in the inns after nine
o’clock at night except spies. As Preserved Smith says, 'Calvin also pronounced on the
best sort of stoves and got servants for his friends. In fact, there was never such a
busybody in a position of high authority before or since.'"

Calvin punished with ferocity those holding religious views other than his own. One man
wrote "all rubbish" on one of Calvin’s tracts and was put on the rack twice a day, morning
and evening, for a whole month.


It is tragic beyond words to see that he and other Christian leaders turned to violence.  Europe became a bloodbath.  One book says, "questions were not argued by reason or cooperative good will but rather by bloodshed and force. The hundred and fifty years following 1500 are among the bloodiest in European history. They form an era often referred to as the period of the Religious Wars."

An example of the horror of these times that fought over theology was the terrible Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day. This horrible exhibition of religious fanaticism and political ruthlessness began at dawn on August 24, 1572, with a signal from the bell of the palace of Justice in Paris. The Catholic party fell upon their Protestant rivals and before the day was done 10,000 were killed.

"By dawn the whole hysterical city was taking up the bestial cry , "Kill! Kill!" Women and
children were senselessly hacked to death and dumped into the Seine. The great scholar
Petrus Ramus was cut down while he knelt at prayer, and his pupils dragged his body
through the streets. Debtors murdered their creditors. Looting continued for days. Such
was the St. Bartholomew massacre, in which at least three thousand Huguenots were killed
in Paris. As word spread throughout the country, another ten thousand were killed in the
provincial towns. Some modern historians, numbered by gas chambers for the Jews and
napalm for the Vietnamese, dismiss the episode as just another atrocity. But this will hardly
do. The St. Bartholomew massacre should be remembered as mass murder in Europe’s
greatest city, plotted by the leaders of the state, and triggered by religious hatred. When
the news reached the pope, he was so delighted that he gave a hundred crowns to the

Christianity still showed it could be vicious during the Reformation. God abandoned Germany. Italy was the formation stage, Germany was the growth stage, and England would be the completion stage. God moved from the language of the Romans, to the language of the Germans, to the language of the English. English would be the language of the nation of power for the Messiah to come to and distribute his message. England failed and like Abraham a second chance was given, and America became the chosen nation for world power.


The Protestant Reformation did not go as God had wanted.  Germany under Luther and Calvin failed to live up to God's standard.  They continued to reject Anti-trinitarianism and they resorted to violence to force people to believe as they did.  God had no choice but to look for a third and final empire to be his world champion.  He chose the English speaking people of England.  When England failed, God blessed America as his final champion and the place in the West the Messiah would come to from the East.  Jesus' mission was to go to Rome with his chosen nation of Israel and teach the Roman Emperor, the leaders, and people to be the world wide missionaries to teach the world the truth.  America became like a new Roman Empire.  There are many similarities between the Roman Empire and America.  It is interesting that Rome, Charlemagne and America had the eagle as their symbol.  Charlemagne's palace was crowned by a bronze eagle with outstretched wings.


England grew to be a great empire because God blessed it.  Satan did everything he could to slow God's effort.  God had a few victories but Satan beat God in the end and God had to move to America.  England made the mistake of persecuting what people would call a cult today -- the Pilgrims.

In our book 1620: the Pilgrims and the New Pilgrims  we tell the famous story of the Pilgrims who were persecuted in England and eventually made their exodus to America and started Plymouth Plantation.  (You can read the entire book at our website www.DivinePrinciple.com).

There were three stages in the Pilgrim's story.  The first was their life in England.  The second was their life in Holland.  The third was their life in America.  God had prepared Holland to be one of the rare places in human history where there was some degree of freedom.  This bright spot attracted the Pilgrims and they escaped the persecution of the religious leaders and the King of England.  God wanted the Pilgrims to accept Arianism and take it to America.

Pilgrims fail to accept Arianism in Holland

One book says, "If the Pilgrims could have remained in prosperous, easy-going Amsterdam which was the bustling center of the cloth industry  ... they would have flourished materially.  Practically all sects were free to teach their peculiar tenets, but the Pilgrims feared that their church might split doctrinally like that of a certain other Separatist faction.  Daily contact with Anabaptists, Socinians, Arians, Jew and miscellaneous heretics and unbelievers threatened their own tight orthodoxy.  Hence they decided to leave."

God wanted them to accept Arianism.  That is why He had them go to Holland first.  But, unfortunately, human history is one where God's central figures just can't ever get it totally right.  Satan invades God's communication, like the Communists invade the airways when America tries to send radio communication to Cuba.  Satan garbles God's revelations.  It is always a mixture.  Until the messiah comes to sort it out, there is always a lot of bathwater with the babies.  The Pilgrims sadly were not tuned in enough and threw out the baby of Arianism.  There were competing sects, (called cults today), but in the midst of all the false ones there was the tiny voice of unitarianism that the Pilgrims did not hear.  To this day, this small voice is still drowned out by the bathwater of traditional Christian thought of its science fiction, illogical polytheism of three gods in a trinity.

The Pilgrims were influenced by Satan to go to Leiden.  They struggled with low paying jobs.  Bradford did better because he got some money from his estate back in England.  Brewster set up a little publishing company and printed some tracts against the church of England and smuggled them into England.  King James was furious at these writings and influenced the Dutch to stop Brewster.  Edward Winslow, the only Pilgrim to have his portrait done, was also a printer.  God wanted them to print the truth about unitarianism.

There were hundreds of Pilgrims, but they failed to go in mass to America.  They should have all gone as one big powerful group as the Puritans did ten years later in 1630.  Instead of 40 Pilgrims being a minority on the Mayflower there should have 400 in many boats.  The Pilgrims should have been 10 times smarter and had 10 times the people, but God's champions are always less than they should be.  This is why human history is such a long history of suffering.  I love the Pilgrims.  They were magnificent in many ways.  But we must understand that they fundamentally missed the boat when it came to the Trinity.  They didn't have ears to hear.  Their mistake in not bringing unitarianism and a more sensible view of the  messiah has made it extremely difficult for Sun Myung Moon.  Still, they are to be honored for the greatness they accomplished.    They made many serious mistakes.  But that is the normal course in human history.  It moves very slowly.

William Bradford rejects Arianism

Bradford in his masterpiece, Of Plymouth Plantation, writes at the start of his book that Satan uses "stratagems" to confuse people to the truth.  Satan sows "errors, heresies" and works on people's "pride and ambition, with other corrupt passions incident to all mortal men, yea to the saints themselves in some measure."  Bradford tries his best to not let Satan influence him.  Bradford hated catholicism.  This was a diversion of Satan.  This led to persecution of Catholics.  It created a split in Christianity.  Bradford and others should have focused their protest, their protestant revolution, to abolishing the concept of the trinity, instead of focusing on a hatred of the Pope.

Bradford's focus was wrong.  He begins his book attacking Catholics who he says Satan makes them have "vile ceremonies, with many unprofitable canons and decrees, which have since been as snares to many poor and peaceable souls to this day."  Bradford is right that there is too much ritual and mumbo jumbo in Catholicism.  God is not for all the elaborate robes and ceremonies to the extent that they use them.  A little is ok, but religions degenerate into ritual that stops the simplicity of God.

Bradford sadly puts down Arianism at the very beginning of his book.  In doing so he took America on the wrong path.  By being an orthodox Christian, America has never achieved the greatness she should have.  With only a few exceptions every American president, like the majority who elect him, are slowed down with a superstitious view of Jesus.

Bradford writes, "the Arians" are "against the orthodox and true Christians."  America has not been a "true" Christian nation, because it is orthodox.

God had sent missionaries from Poland to Holland to teach unitarianism, but their voice was too small.

Unitarian thought at the time of the Pilgrims in England and Holland


An encyclopedia says that there was "turmoil" in England when the Pilgrims lived there over unitarian thought: "In England, in the turmoil of the 17th century, Socinianism made an appeal to several Anglican and Nonconformist circles as a rational, irenic [peaceful] expression of Christianity.  John Biddle, who gathered a few Socinian conventicles [conventicle is defined as "a secret or unauthorized meeting, esp. for religious worship, as those held by Protestant dissenters in England when they were prohibited by law] of Biddellians in 1652, is regarded as the father of English Unitarianism."  After losing his belief in the Trinity, he stated his conclusions in Twelve Arguments Drawn Out of Scripture, for which he was imprisoned (1645).  He was banished for publishing his Two-fold Catechism (1654). Returning in 1658, he taught and preached until again imprisoned in 1662.

As we will see John Locke was a reader of Socinian works who wrote in 1695 The Reasonableness of Christianity as Delivered in the Scriptures.

The Pilgrims rejected the followers of Faustus Socinius who lived in the 16th century and died in Poland in 1604.  He was an "Italian-born lay theologian whose anti-Trinitarian teachings led to the founding of the Socinian sect and were later influential in the development of Unitarian theology." I came across a sermon of a unitarian minister, Rev. Craig C. Roshaven,  published on the web that tells the story of Socinius.  He writes, "This morning I want to tell you a story.  A story of a man who, perhaps more than any other single person, is responsible for our faith, the religion we call Unitarian Universalism.  A man who planted many of the seeds that would ultimately flower into what we now call the Enlightenment, the age of reason.  A devout and pietistic man who believed in the religion of Jesus rather than the religion about Jesus.  His story is not only of great intellectual moral courage, but one of great faith and faithfulness."

He goes on to say "Faustus wrote most of his books anonymously, in order to avoid persecution.  But that was scant protection, for it was hard to conceal authorship in so small a world of scholars.  From the beginning, Faustus began to think and write dangerous heresies.  His first book, which he wrote when he was but 23, boldly declared that Jesus was divine, but was not God."

"Almost all of Europe during this time was a dangerous place for those who questioned religious dogmas.  Heretics were being tortured and killed not only in Italy, but in Spain, France, England, Holland, Germany, Denmark, and Switzerland.  [He narrowly escaped assassination in 1578 upon the publication of his book De Jesu Christo Servatore.]  But there was one place that was safe.  Poland and its neighbor, Translyvania."

Socinius went to "Poland when he was 40 and remained there until his death in his 60's.  While he was there, the anti-Trinitarians of Poland became unified under his intellectual leadership and would eventually become known as Socinians."

As usual he was persecuted there too.  "Socinius was also often persecuted by those who were enraged by his writings.  Indeed, once when he was ill, a group of students broke into his home, burned all his manuscripts and threatened to burn him as well unless he recanted his heretical belief that Jesus was not God.  He refused and was rescued, almost accidentally, by a sympathetic professor." After being almost killed by this mob he moved to another city.

"What kind of man was he?  He was first and foremost a scholar.  Although he was not formally educated, he was fluent in Greek, Hebrew, Latin, French, German, and Polish.  One of his early works on the Bible was so well written that it became a standard text used widely for 200 years.  He was a gentleman.  His morals were above reproach and he distinguished himself by his unfailing courtesy.  Unfailing courtesy was remarkable in an age when even the great Protestant leaders, Luther and Calvin would use vile street language when arguing with their opponents."

"Finally, what were his beliefs?  First, he and the other Socinians believed in religious tolerance.  They also believed that all religious authority depended on applying reason to historical evidence, the evidence in this case being the scripture.  It was because they saw no evidence in the scripture for the doctrine of trinity they denied it." ... "They also believed that God was a loving God and that a loving God would not infinitely punish sins."

"The most striking part of their belief, though, was their belief Jesus was not God, but human.  An exceptional man to be sure, but just a man."

The Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia writes that the Socinians "posed a serious threat to Roman Catholic dominance in the area.  At the synod of Brez in 1588 Socinius argued against all the chief Christian dogmas.  In 1590 he was denounced by the Inquisition and became destitute.  Faustus Socinius died in obscurity 14 years later."

"Although there were only 300 Socinian churches in the 17th century Poland at the height of the movement, their influence would be felt throughout Europe.  Socinius's books were widely distributed and read."

An encyclopedia writes that in Poland they "founded a successful university and a famous printing operation that turned out many Socinian books and pamphlets. ... In 1638, however, the Polish Diet closed the academy and the press ... and in 1658 the Diet gave the Socinians the choice of either conformity to Roman Catholic doctrine or forced exile or death.  A mass migration of Socinians ensued, chiefly to Translyvania, the Netherlands, Germany, and England" where "Socinian ideas influenced John Biddle, the father of English Unitarianism."

In Our Unitarian Heritage, Earl Wilbur writes that missionaries went from Poland to other countries to teach.   They were always persecuted.  When Holland opened up some religious freedom two ministers from Poland, Ostorod and Wojdowski, went there and "while visiting the University of Leiden in 1578 sought to make converts among the students there by conversations and by circulating books which they had brought with them.  ... They also made the acquaintance of the young Arminius, who was later to lead a movement against Calvinism and pave the way for Methodism; and although they did not make an Antitrinitarian of him,  yet it is hard not to believe that they did plant liberal seeds in his mind, and persuade him to accept some of the principles of Socinianism."

He goes on to say, "The authorities had these two under suspicion almost from the day of their arrival, and seizing their books submitted them to the Leiden theologians, who pronounced their teaching little better than Mohammedanism.  A trial was had, and after various delays it was ordered that the books be publicly burnt, and that their owners leave the country within ten days.  After that it was several years before Socinianism again made any stir in Holland."

This is the usual pattern.  Even in America when the year 2000 is near there are those who want to ban the Unification Church from the country.  Rev. Moon is banned from Germany and Japan.

Of course it is impossible to stop something by simply banning it and Socinians kept coming to Holland and England.  And the orthodox church in Holland "induced the States General to pass decrees against Socinianism in 1628, though as the magistrates in the larger towns were much disposed to be tolerant, little came of them."

When the Arminians were persecuted the Socinians in Poland were sympathetic.  They sent a man who had been a student of Episopius and now living in Poland to travel to Holland and give Episcopius a message of friendship. Wilbur writes in his book The History of Unitarianism that this former student "made the long journey from Poland on purpose to offer the exiles any help in their power to give.  If they were disposed to remove to Poland, he assured them of a hearty welcome and of all needed assistance.  So generous an offer could not be declined outright, and was carefully considered; but Episopius replied the following evening, with thanks for the offer, that their present necessities were provided for, and that they felt they could serve their people better by remaining near them than by removing to a distant land."

Of course Episcopius should have become an antiTrinitarian and joined forces.  Maybe then they would have had enough power to influence the Pilgrims to change their minds.  Who knows?  God is trying to work where ever he can to advance people's understanding of freedom, reason and tolerance.

Sebastian Castellio

Another important figure in the history of religious tolerance was Sebastian Castellio who was upset at Servetus being burned as a heretic and wrote an influential book that was translated and circulated around Europe.  He was an Italian liberal humanist who advocated religious toleration in De haereticis or Concerning Heretics (1554).  This book caused a wave of protest over the cruel death of Servetus.

Wilbur writes that his books had great impact in Holland and elsewhere.  He says that Castellio advanced "the fundamental principles of freedom, reason and tolerance that have evolved in its history and been ever increasingly realized as the necessary conditions of the fullest development of religious thought and life.  ... Sebastian Castellio deserves more ample recognition than he has as yet received from more than a very few.  In this respect he is entitled to be considered, even more than Servetus, as the real founder of liberal Christianity; for the first and most essential of its three controlling principles named above is that of generous tolerance of differing views.  This is, at bottom, the outgrowth of an entirely new conception of religion as centered not in dogma but in life and character; and it is of the very essence of this conception of religion to regard freedom and reason not as incidental, but as fundamental conditions of a thoroughly wholesome existence of religion.  At a time of extreme dogmatism,  Castellio was the first in Protestant history to emphasize and place on firm and enduring foundations this principle of tolerance.  It is therefore but just to honor him as one of the prime founders of liberal Protestantism."

Pilgrims mistakenly fight Arminians

Bradford and the rest of the Pilgrims also made a huge mistake in not seeing that God was also trying to reform Christianity and make it more logical and humane with the teachings of Arminius.  Jacobus Arminius was a minister in Leiden of the Dutch Reformed Church and then became a professor of theology in the University of Leiden who opposed the Calvinist teaching of predestination.  The university there was the chief training center for ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church.  He had a mild temperament, but was forced into the controversy against his own choice.  He gave up the ridiculous idea of predestination because it obviously didn't make any sense, but since that was the ruling ideology, he was attacked.  His followers were condemned, persecuted and some were expelled from the country.  His ideas were later accepted by John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church in America.  The Methodists have a magazine to this day called The Arminian Magazine.

After he died in 1609 the theologian Simon Episcopius took up the fight as his successor at Leiden.  There was great controversy over this issue the whole ten years the Pilgrims were at Leiden.  The Pilgrims were Calvinists and missed that God was behind the Ariminians in the Arminian/Calvinist debate.  As happens throughout history, force is usually used against those who upset the status quo with non-traditional views.

Bradford writes of this passionate debate that raged in Holland while he lived there.  He goes into detail to write how the Pilgrims fought against this new heresy.  He writes in his book Plymouth Plantation, "In these times also were the great troubles raised by the Armenians, who, as they greatly molested the whole state, so this city in particular in which was the chief university; so as there were daily and hot disputes in the schools thereabout."

Bradford says that there were two professors who were riling everyone up -- Episcopius and Polyander.  He writes that the Pilgrims's minister, John Robinson, debated them, "which made Episcopius (the Armenian professor) to put forth his best strength and set forth sundry theses which by public dispute he would defend against all men."

Then Bradford tells the story of how Robinson publicly debated Polyander: "Now Polyander, the other professor, and the chief preacher of the city, desired Mr. Robinson to dispute against him; but he was loath, being a stranger.  Yet the other did importune him..."

Robinson decided to do it.  Bradford writes, "when the day came, the Lord did so help him to defend the truth and foil the adversary, as he put him to an apparent nonplus in this great and public audience. And the like he did a second and third time upon such like occasions.  The which as it caused many to praise God that the truth had so famous victory, so it procured him much honor and respect from those learned men and others which loved the truth."

Well, we don't know if Robinson was that great or not.  Bradford is a biased witness to the debate.  Bradford's book is the first classic written in America and it sadly begins with Bradford completely off the track of God's will.  These spiritual ancestors of America had many faults, but we have to see that God takes two steps forward and one back.  In time the truth comes out, but it is messy until it is understood by all.  In 1619, a year before the Pilgrims left for America, the orthodox church in Holland held a council and got the government to ban the Armenians.  In The History of Unitarianism we read, "Their ministers were removed from their pulpits and from any office they might hold under the State.  ... About 200 ministers were concerned, and 80 of them were put into wagons and sent into exile across the border.  Public proclamations forbade those that remained in the country to hold any meetings, even in secret."