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The Easter Controversy:

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Introduction

The Easter Controversy: With a concluding analysis of its relation to Praxis Easter is the most important celebration for Christianity because it commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, a foundational notion upon which the faith is built. Accordingly, it is the principle feast and the high point of the ecclesiastical year, which has been an established tradition as old as Christianity. Easter has been universally observed since the middle of the second century. The original celebration generally consisted of a vigil with readings followed by a feast with the Eucharist. This was a time for rejoicing because the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus were seen as a saving unit. Christ's transition from death to resurrection, which represents a new life, has traditionally meant a transition for Christians from the burden of sin to a life of freedom with God. Jesus was slain on the day when the Jews celebrated Passover, as they slaughtered the figurative Lamb of God. It was on a Sunday when Christ rose from the dead and, coincidentally, this day of the week was established as the Lord's Day. Therefore, from the beginning, Sunday became the day of the week for believers to gather in commemoration of when Jesus rose from the dead. Furthermore, there is a clear connection between the Jewish Passover and the Christian Easter, which is why the Jewish feast was adopted for the Easter celebration. ...read more.

Middle

So, Polycrates called the bishops together but they agreed that they would rather keep to their own tradition. Therefore, Polycrates replied and based his beliefs on the apostolic tradition, since he also claimed to know the Apostles John and Phillip. Thus, Polycrates pleads a rule of faith that has been fixed by tradition and forbids any change in those customs. At about the same time that Victor wrote his letter to Polycrates, he also had written to other bishops in the same sense. The replies from these councils of bishops all expressed their agreement with Rome to adopt their celebration customs. Polycrates had a different mentality, as he affirmed that no threats would scare him and he attempted to remind Victor of the past and how other bishops have settled the same argument peacefully. Polycrates declares, "It is better to obey God than men" (Encyclopedia of Early Christianity). This rebuttal was obviously referring to a portion of the letter that discussed the penalties in case of refusal. These penalties were very severe. Consequently, after this denial, Victor declared Polycrates and his associates cut off and separated from the Church, which was the first recorded event of any intervention on the part of the Roman Church in this matter. However, the situation did not end with the excommunication of the Quartodecimans. In many of the churches it was felt that Victor had abused his privileges and was too harsh. ...read more.

Conclusion

They would break bread only in the evening and the feast ended with the Eucharist. In contrast, the Western churches devoted three days to the memory of the death and resurrection of Christ. Friday and Saturday are for mourning and fasting, and a vigil prepared them for the feast on Sunday. Therefore, there are obvious dissimilarities in the steps and values of the worship of Easter. The lifestyles of the two sides are very different in this respect. Another cause of a difference in lifestyle involved in the two sides is the calendar system used. The fact that each location was using a distinct calendar seems to have a profound affect on praxis, since the dates of history would change depending on which system was being examined. The biggest change in lifestyle during the controversy would have been caused by Victor as well as the ruling of the Council of Nicaea. Both of these events forced Quartodecimans to adopt the Roman celebration. Therefore, the lives of Christians were changing during each period of history. Easter is about hope and how death is not the end. It gives reason for carrying on, no matter what the trials of life bring. Christ died for our sins and all of eternity hinges on the fact that He was resurrected. While the question of resurrection is not part of the Easter Controversy, this topic is so essential to Christianity that it has a profound effect on the lifestyle of a believer. ?? ?? ?? ?? 2 1 ...read more.

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