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Happy Birthday Constantine!

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
February 27, 2023 9:00 am

Happy Birthday Constantine!

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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February 27, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about the importance of Constantine and his conversion to Christianity. 

If you like this content and want to support the show you can visit us at clearviewtodayshow.com. Don't forget to rate and review our show! To learn more about us, visit us at clearviewbc.org. If you have any questions or would like to contact us, email us at contact@clearviewtodayshow.com or text us at 252-582-5028. See you tomorrow on Clearview Today!

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Hello, everyone!

Today is Monday, February the 27th. I'm Ryan Hill. I'm Jon Galantis. I'm sorry.

That was so passive-aggressive of an intro. I'm Jon Galantis, and you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Albert Anshad, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What is happening? I'm powering through.

You can find us online. No, man. Let's keep it. Let's keep it.

Let's start over. What was passive-aggressive? Was I passive-aggressive?

I think you both were. Are you still rolling, Nick? You said, recording Monday. Then Ryan was like, all right, let me know when we're ready. You were like, I said recording Monday. He was like, okay, that's not historically what that meant.

Today is Monday. It was just tension under the surface. Honestly, I was uncomfortable.

I was uncomfortable. You can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com, or if you have a question for Dr. Shah or suggestion for a future episode, send us a text to 252-582-5028. You can also email us at contact at ClearviewTodayShow.com. That's right. You guys can help us keep this conversation going by liking this podcast, supporting it online, sharing it online with a friend or with a family member, someone who needs to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, and leaving us a couple of good reviews on iTunes, Spotify, anywhere you get your podcast and content from. We're going to leave a link in the description of this podcast so you can do just that.

That's right. Leave us those good reviews. We really appreciate it.

It really is helpful to getting the show visible and accessible to as many people as possible. Very much. Jon, you want to read the verse of the day today? Hebrews 13, 17 says this, obey those who rule over you and be submissive for they watch out for your souls as those who must give account let them do so with joy and not with grief for that would be unprofitable for you. A lot of times there's this push against authority. There's this mantra of be your own boss, be in charge of your own destiny.

If you can climb to the point where you don't have anybody over you, you've made it. We're not saying don't aspire to those things, but respect those who are in authority over you because they've been put there for a reason. Right. They're the ones that have to give account for that. They haven't a responsibility. We're not talking about just obey the government, do what people tell you to do.

Be submissive means trust that the people that God has placed in your life are there for a reason, that they've been appointed by God for a specific reason that might not make sense to you. It may not ever make sense to you, but it makes sense to God because he's the one who orchestrated that way. Really, you're trusting in him and his providence.

That's right. I'm looking good, man. Thank you, man. I'm so tired today. I got to get up at six o'clock in the morning. I was like 555. I got a call from David Williamson in my driveway.

Why? He picks me up of a morning. You remember how we argued on the podcast? Oh, oh, oh, for the gym.

For the gym, yeah, yeah, yeah. You remember how we were talking about it on the podcast where he was like, I'm driving to go pick Jon up for the gym. Well, I got a lot of backlash, so David's thinking moved so that he could be closer to my house so that he could pick me up from the gym.

That was the practice behind the move. I was like, hey, bud, I'm already catching a lot of heat. Please don't move to be closer for this because I'm really going to catch some heat if people are like, you made him move houses so he could pick you up from the gym? And he said, I've already moved in.

I was just like, well, now I just have to own it. So I was like, yeah, I made him move so he could pick me up from the gym. Today, we got up and we did a workout plan together. We're on a 10-week program. We hit our back today. Very cool. It was fun, but you know, I did in fact uproot my entire life just so I could pick you up from the gym without backlash.

It was a crazy thing because it was like, I was like, this is an inside joke based on a podcast. Don't move for that. And he was like, I feel like I have to if I don't pick you up for the gym. I would put the blame on you, but it's not you.

It's the people who backlashed. They're the reason that I moved. Why did you move for real? Just because I wanted to be in Henderson.

I was living in Oxford and I wanted to be back in Henderson and also it's much cheaper. It's actually really nice. It's one bedroom. There's like a living room in a kitchen area. Then there's like a loft, which is really nice.

David showed me a picture. It does look nice. It's cool. And it's like practically next door to me.

It is really close. That isn't the reason that's just kind of an added benefit. I was like, okay, now this is a non-issue because we can ride together to the gym. You're literally on my way to the gym. Right.

Right. And also sometimes, you know, I drive, like I didn't drive this morning, but you didn't speak this morning. I was so, I was so done.

Five 55 rolled around. I was like, I don't like that. Like when I go to the gym in the morning, I don't like to talk. Hey, Hey, Hey. But then headphones are going in. Please don't talk to me.

I haven't had any coffee. Like just let me phone. I literally opened the car. Get in there.

David, first thing, million dollars, but like you have gills or something. And I'm like, dude, you got to chill out. It's dark. You're at a 17. I need you to four. Uh, yeah. You, you, you posed me a million dollars question. I was half asleep. Keep in mind, I think you had just woken up, right?

Yes. You woke me up at five. So five 55, I get the phone call. Hey, I'm in the driveway five 50, like eight. I'm in the car dressed and sitting down with him. So I've been awake for three minutes.

Okay. So I had been awake since four 30. Yeah. So I had had time to like get going and watch some funny videos and get some million dollars rolling through my head and kind of kind of be prepping yourself, hyping yourself up for the day. I was like dragging myself out of bed, putting my clothes on, like looking for any reason at all to, to not go. And then I just got in the car and we went on, we hit our back. Uh, I think we're going to go tomorrow and hit arms. Yeah.

Do arms. I mean, it's looking pretty good. Very nice. But again, if you guys have questions, you want to hear those answered on the show, send those into two five two five eight two five zero two eight. Or you can visit us online at clear view today.com.

We'll be right back. Well, good morning, afternoon, evening, clear view today listeners. My name is John and I'm David. And we just want to take a quick second and let you know about another way that you can keep in touch with Dr. Shah's work. And that is his weekly podcast series, sermons by Abaddon Shah, PhD.

As a lot of you may know, or maybe some of you don't know, you don't know you do now. And if you don't know, then maybe just hop off the podcast. David, I'm just pop off the podcast play and keep listening. Dr. Shah is actually the lead pastor of Clearview church in North Carolina. Every single weekend he preaches expository messages that challenge and inspire us to live God honoring. One of the four core values of Clearview church is that we're a Bible believing church. So every sermon is coming directly from scripture, which is great because that guarantees that there are timeless truths that are constantly applicable to our lives. This is a great resource because whether you're driving, whether you're cleaning the house, whether you're working out, you can always benefit from hearing the word of God spoken into your life. And God's word is always going to do something new for you every time you hear it.

Sometimes it's conviction and sometimes it's encouragement. But know that every time you listen to God's word, you're inviting the Holy Spirit to move and work in your life. You guys can check out the sermons by Abaddon Shah, PhD podcast. First and foremost, check it out on our church app. That's the Clearview app. You can get that in the Google Play Store. You can get that on iTunes. But you can also find the podcast on the Apple podcast app or on our website at ClearviewBC.org. And listen, if you've got a little extra time on your hands, you just want to do some further reading, you can also read the transcripts of those sermons.

Those are available on Dr. Shah's website, AbaddonShah.com. And we're going to leave you guys a little link in the description so you can follow it. But for right now, David, let's hop back in.

All right. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abaddon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com. If you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text, 252-582-5028.

Dr. Shah, welcome to the studio in this beautiful, fantastic, wonderful, lovely, magnificent morning. That's too bad. I'm sorry. I got carried away. I actually like it. You liked it? I liked it. It was good.

It was a lot of descriptors. We'll workshop it later, but Dr. Shah likes it. So for now, it'll fly.

For now, it's positive. That's right. That's right. Well, we want to let you guys know who's talking to you today. Dr. Abaddon Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, a professor at Carolina City, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show.

You can find all of his work on his website. That's AbaddonShah.com. That's right. And today is actually someone special's birthday. Happy birthday, Dr. Shah. It's not mine. It's not Dr. Shah's birthday. It's October.

It's not. I got my calendar mixed up. You did. Hang on one second. Let me look.

Let me just peek real quick. Constantine. Today is actually the birthday of the Roman Emperor Constantine. That's right.

Yeah. And so people are like, why is he special? Why should I care about Constantine? He's actually a pretty significant figure in Christian history.

Dr. Shah, do you want to talk about it? Do you want to just kind of open things up and just say, you know, what it is that Constantine did and why he matters so much to what we believe? Well, born in 280 AD. So going back February, what is the, what is the date?

27th. 27th, 280 AD, not BC, AD, is when this, this man was born, died in 337 AD. And he made a tremendous impact, especially with what is now known as the edict of Milan, edict of Milan, hopefully in somewhere in the show, we can read that today. So help you understand the importance of that. And this edict of Milan was put out there in 313 AD. So made a big difference to Christianity and the persecution that people were facing for several hundred years with the coming of Constantine and the coming of the edict of Milan, things changed. Yeah.

Yeah. And I think with this new toleration at the time it was, it was that Christianity was tolerated, but over time it sort of led into Christianity actually having influence over the state. And, you know, we were kind of talking about it off mic a little bit before when we were kind of forming this episode, you said, what if we use this, you know, as a platform to kind of display how Christianity has impacted the world for the positives because now it seems like people really don't want Christianity influencing the nation at all. You know, in the West, okay, let's just face the facts. In the West, Christianity has been the foundation of not only our nation, but also European nations.

You know, they existed for several thousand years, but, but what made them successful today? I mean, no matter how you want to say it, the West is leading, right? And I'm not talking about the West as in just, you know, the Western part of the United States.

I'm just talking about Europe is, has been leading for the past several hundred years. And it's because of Christianity. You take Christianity away and it's nothing but dark paganism.

I'm sure here and there you'll find some, some lights and some, some, you know, innovators and creators and all that. But overall it was, there was nothing there until Christianity came. So here's what happens when you grow up in this world of Christianity with all the privileges and all the benefits and a worldview that is, that, that, you know, enables you to harness the powers of nature, that enables you to move forward and explore and create and change.

We tend to think that it happens because we're living in a world of opportunity and that's not true. You're living in a world that has been heavily influenced by Judeo-Christian worldview. That's right. That's why you are able to do what you're doing. Right. So coming from the East, okay, where Judeo-Christian principles, values, worldview, worldviews are not primary.

It's a very different world. I don't think for a moment, they're not smart people out there. There are plenty of smart people out there, but they, they, they're kind of stuck in a box.

You know, they cannot think beyond those boundaries that have been set for centuries. So mind is brilliant because it's made by God, but the culture, the environment in which they're operating is such that it only enables them to see thus far. To think for a moment, what is the ideal vision? I know we talk about 20, 20 vision, but the ideal would be like a 2010, 2015, something like that.

All right. So let's say I have that vision, but if you lock me up in a room without any windows, what's the use of that vision? True. You can only see what's in that room.

You can't see beyond those walls. Exactly. So here's the problem with the world. They're locked into this room that is a product of their understanding of the divine. It's a product of their understanding of how the world operates, where it's coming from and where it's going.

So you can have 2015 vision, 2010 vision, whatever it is, whatever it's the best, but you can't go beyond that. So when you're living in a culture like the West, we tend to think very differently. We tend to think like, and I'm talking about Christians now. Oh man, politics and church should not be meet. They don't exist together.

This never works out. State religion and that is so corrupt and they enforce their values on you and you have to do what the state religion tells you. Now, what would you want to be like an Anglican somewhere or some Catholic or, you know, I get what they're saying, but they're taking a part of Western history and saying, okay, so Christianity being the majority is not a good thing because look at all the inquisitions and persecutions and all that. We got to do away with that. We need to keep these two things separate. In the church, we shouldn't be talking about politics.

Man, it never works out. People should be allowed to think any way they want to think. Now, who is disagreeing with that? Yes, I agree. Yeah.

I don't know anybody who thinks that the government should force people to follow Christianity. Right. But to think that that's the basis for Christianity to stay in a corner somewhere and not influence politics is foolish because somebody else is going to fill that vacuum.

That's exactly right. Okay. It may be socialist Marxists that sort of where we're headed in America, or it may be some of the religion. Go to the East and you'll see Islam fill that vacuum very quickly in the seventh century. So all that is to say this. I believe many times Constantine gets a bad rap when people say, oh, that's when Christianity went downhill.

Okay. I hear what you're saying, but no, that's not when Christianity went downhill. He helped the church live freely after hundreds of years of persecution, right? That he came along and he had a testimony. I'm not saying for a moment that he was an exemplary character, you know, that we need to all be like Constantine. Of course not.

I'm not going to say that. He was a political leader. He was a politician. He was a Roman general. And so he brought that baggage with him. That's why I believe Christians in politics need our prayers far more than how dare they, you know, no pray for them because it is so hard to walk that tight rope.

So difficult when somebody says, I'm a Christian immediately because I, okay, now if you're a Christian, I don't see any Jesus in you. Okay. Well, what do you want? You want him to be what a little lap dog or you want him to be a sheep dog. I'd rather him be a sheep dog.

He's going to run out there and bark. Right. I'm sorry.

It doesn't fit your idea of what a Christian is supposed to be, but sometimes that's what they do. Keep the sheep safe. Yeah. Yeah.

I think people have that mistaken idea. And that goes back to, you know, conversations we've had about what it means to live the Christian life, what meekness looks like because Bible talks about, you know, blessed are the meek. We have this picture of obviously this caricature of Christians just sort of huddled in the corner, like, I don't want to make any waves. I don't want to make anybody upset. I'm just going to stand over here and just love people when we are called to love people and we're called to be gracious, but we're also called to stand up for what, for the truth. Yeah.

And if you don't, nobody else will. Right. There's also, I think this imagery that, that Christians have tended to mold over time of God using like the fishermen and the shepherds and the lay people. But I mean, if you look in the Old Testament and the New God uses kings and rulers and we went through Abraham, we were looking at Abraham wasn't this like just nomad living out in the dead. He was a king. He was a royal. And a lot of the people that he used, like even like Moses, they were people of political influence and political power.

And even the ones, Dr. Shudd, that you like, cause you were saying this earlier when we were talking, the ones who weren't became that. Like Daniel, you know, he had influence in the government. He didn't have that from the beginning, but God put him in that position to where he could make political. And also, like you were just saying, you want your, your rulers to be tough and to be warriors and to be able to stand up for the truth when it actually matters.

Yeah. Well, and I mean, thinking in that same line, you have Joseph. Joseph was sold as a slave and then he was elevated to a position of political prominence. The throughout, throughout the Old Testament, throughout the Bible, you see that happen time and time again. And it's because God is moving his people into positions where they can change.

And it's when you are the minority and your children and, and grandchildren are taken away for interrogation. When your churches have bullet holes and, and glass windows have bricks thrown through them and your pastors get slapped into the pulpit. That's when you realize, oh, well, maybe it might not be a bad idea to have a Christianity in charge. Now I know there have been times that Christians have done bad things, evil things. So I'm not going to, for a moment, say when Christians are in charge, a hundred percent of the time they do what's right. No, there are times that didn't. But when you still weigh it out, when you still put history in balance, what you find it is this. When Christianity is in charge, most of the time, everybody has freedom. When it's not in charge, most of the time, here's what you find.

Not only does everybody not have freedom, but the fringe groups are persecuted and Christianity is, is treated as a fringe group and are terribly persecuted. So Constantine, you know, to kind of give you a quick recap on history, he comes along. He is, he's born, of course, like I said, in 280, just south of the Danube. And by the age of 31, he's in line to become the emperor. He has about 40,000 troops behind him.

This is about 311 AD. He comes up against Rome to confront an enemy. The enemy is Maxentius, who is fighting for supremacy in the West.

And, you know, Maxentius thinks it's easy. We can beat Constantine and his troops. They're not going to stand a chance.

They don't stand a chance. And especially he had, you know, inquired of an oracle and the oracle said, of course, you're going to win. So he was ready. He was inside Rome, but he was ready to fight Constantine. But here's what happens.

That night or that afternoon, Constantine had a vision and the vision was of a bright cross in the sky with the words, by this sign, you will conquer. Now I know today historians, like I find it very funny, always talk about, you know, how dumb that was. He made up that story.

Okay. Well, I mean, maybe, maybe I don't think he made up that story. I think that that probably did happen.

It was something personal to him. Just like today, people have signs. They see like, Hey man, I saw this, this, and this. Now, of course, we don't build our lives by this, this, and this, but there are times God shows you something and, and you move forward. And then looking back, you go, yeah, I'm so glad I followed that sign. Then there are times you have signs and you realize it's nothing.

It's just your blood sugar, a blob of mustard or a crumb of cheese. Yeah. So, so he saw that, that sign. And so he told his troops, he said, here's what we're going to do. We're going to take that Cairo, right?

Cairo. And we're going to Christos, right? We're going to put it right on our shields.

We're going to paint our shields with a Cairo. And they did. And they went out in a battle. Maxentius was so overconfident. He came out to fight Constantine and very quickly it became chaos as it became apparent that Constantine's going to win this one. So Maxentius' soldiers kind of just went chaotic, went started running here and there, pushed him into the river. He had all this, this, these, this armor on him and he drowned because of his armor. Wow.

That's how it works. It was kind of a terrible situation that he found himself. And of course, Constantine became the undisputed ruler of the West, the first Roman emperor with a, with cross in his crown. Right. And so he takes over the city, which is Byzantium and it becomes Constantinople, which is today's Istanbul.

All right. And like I said, you know, the edict of Milan comes out where all the persecution, all the junk that Christians had to endure because of Diocletian's rule are overturned. Can you imagine how those Christians must have felt who were, whose ancestors were thrown to the lions, whose ancestors were burned in Nero's garden, you know, who had to live under constant threat. So people like me who grew up in a non-Christian country, we were not quite persecuted the same way. I just want to clarify that. Thank God for that. But it's not the same country anymore.

India has changed and I would say not for the better. So I can, but, but I understand. I understand that feeling of knowing, wow, we got somebody up in charge now who's going to protect us and not allow the mob or some, some, some desperate in our region to come and take over our property and, and, and allow his soldiers to rape our daughters, you know, and kill our children. Okay. There's a peace there.

This burden has been lifted off our shoulders. Now there's a reason why we're covering this on this radio show because in America, if we don't stand up and, and fight, and I'm talking about spiritual fight, of course, but also politically, if we don't make our voices heard, there will come a time that you'll wish for a Constantine to come. Okay. So, I don't know. That's, that's how I feel.

Well, I mean, you think about like, think about what you're talking about. This, this Roman empire where they had these like brutal gladiatorial fights and these like horrific punishments and these, just these, these awful, awful conditions. But it's because, like you said, Dr. Shaw, it's because Christians went beyond simply evangelizing, simply saving the law. They got involved in politics.

You told a story one time, I can't remember the episode that you told it on, but it was where the, in India, I think in the 18, in the 1800s where they would burn women alive because they, because their husbands had died or something. It's because Christians got involved and they stopped that. And it's not just, hey, we're here to seek and to save the lost. It's this, what's happening in politics is not right.

And because we have a voice, we're going to exercise it. I appreciate the perspective that you bring Dr. Shaw, having, having grown up in a different country, having grown up in somewhere where Christianity is not sort of the central focus. And I find it interesting that the people who are often like, we don't need to talk about politics in church.

We don't need to do this. Our people who have grown up in the lap of Christian luxury. You don't hear that rhetoric in other nations. You're like, please, let's talk about, let's talk about how Christianity needs to be involved in politics.

You don't hear that in those nations. And I find that very interesting. What you hear often is all the failures and the flaws of Christian leaders, whether it was Kings and potentates in the past or ruler or, or, or politicians in the present.

Okay. Same thing with Constantine. Would I hold him up as the exemplar, you know, of Christianity and Christian law?

Of course not. There are a lot of flaws he had. For example, I mean, you know, yes, initially he was very strong about, Hey, here's my convictions.

But then at times, you know, you would be like, is he a Christian or not? I mean, cause, cause he just made this decision. He just had his eldest son killed. He just had his second wife killed. I mean, what's going on here? Is this a Christian behavior or, you know, that he was baptized on his deathbed that why did he wait so long to be baptized?

Why? Hey, look, here's how I would say it. When we have Christians in politics who are willing to say, Jesus is their savior, pray for them, pray for them. What they need more than anything is prayer, not just scrutiny. Now of course, scrutinize them. If they're abusers of bad people, of course, bring it to light and deal with it. But if you constantly say that, you know, man, their example, just know when this comes with the territory, you know, I admire people who stand up and say, Hey, I'm a Christian and I'm running for this in this position. And before I jump up and say, Oh, you're just doing that for the votes, just stop and think they could have just left that out and gotten a whole lot more votes in America today. But they're willing to say they're Christians.

And so when they need our prayers, so I would say not for a moment, do I want to gloss over people's bad behavior, whether they are Christians or not, but at the same time, let's not be too quick to say, Oh, that's just, you know, fake and this is not right. And this is what we want. Okay. Hope it works out. That's right.

Man. It's such a great encouragement to us. Get involved, get educated, know who it is that you're voting for, vote your convictions. And if you feel that push, get involved in the political realm.

If you, if you consider running for an office, running for some political influence as a Christian, we need more of that. If you guys enjoyed today's episode, or you have questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text to 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at clearevutodayshow.com and you can partner with us financially on that same website. We're grateful to all of our giving partners, thankful for the support that you continue to provide as we seek together to impact people with the gospel. Amen. We mentioned this up top of the show, but Dr. Shah, we had a question come in from Mary L. You say that you like the text behind the new King James version. What exactly does that mean? Oh, that's a great question.

How much time do we have? Well, we're talking about the Byzantine text. I like the Byzantine text.

Okay. The alternative would have been the Alexandrian text or the reason eclectic text. And the difference is the Byzantine text has a textual history.

What that means is that you can kind of trace readings back and see that they have a support. Many times, and my professor, Dr. Maurice Robinson has done lectures and papers on this, what you'll find with the reason eclectic text, which is behind the NIV or the NASB or the ESV or the CSB, what you find is an eclectic text that has been put together in many places. You won't find a continuous text even in a verse. It's been pieced together from this manuscript or that manuscript or this collection of these witnesses. Here you go.

Here's a text. Unlike that, the Byzantine text has a continual textual history, a history of transmission. And I know maybe it's hard for you to understand all of that. And hopefully we can cover that one day with some examples. So that's one of the big reasons for my support for the Byzantine text.

It's more consistent in its transmissional history. Excellent. If you guys have questions about that, you know where to send those questions to, 22525825028. We love you guys. We'll see you next time on Clearview Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-27 10:22:09 / 2023-02-27 10:34:51 / 13

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