PROJECTIONS OF NICEAN TRADITIONALISM AMONG MODERATE ARIANS IN THE IV CENTURY (3)
The bishops of the East were provoked by the term “one in essence” (omousios) defined in Nicaea, as many of them saw in it a revival of the heresy of Sabelius. It is most probable that many of those who took part in the Council of the Eastern Party in Philippopolis had previously participated in the Council of the Sanctification in Antioch in 341, and in Sozomen we find several familiar names: Not only Eusebius took part in this council, who after Paul’s expulsion was transferred from Nicomedia to Constantinople, but also …. Theodore of Heraclius (formerly called Perintus) …. and many others ruling the Metropolitan Churches or no less important. “
The two councils convened simultaneously by Constantius II, one for the eastern hierarchs in Seleucia and the other for the western ones in Rimini, had the task of preparing a new formula to be adopted at a third council – in Sirmium. For various reasons, this wording satisfied the two parties into which the Arians had split. Some accepted it because it forbade the use of the term “substance” in reference to God as a word not attested in Scripture; others, because the new formula declared that “the Son of God is like the Father in all things, as the Scriptures say”; both united around the supremacy of the Scriptures.
In Rimini, Western bishops, most of whom are Orthodox, begin by re-signing the Nicene Creed; condemn all formulas after 325; but under pressure from the Arian emperor they came out at the end of the council with a statement forbidding the words “hypostasis” and “substance” and deleting the phrase “in all things” after expressing the resemblance of the Son to the Father, adding that the very pronunciation of the word “One essence” is offensive to the Lord. They so far surpassed the moderate Arians, who formed the majority of the members of the Council of Seleucia, that the emperor with great effort could scarcely persuade the eastern semi-Arian party to accept the formula adopted by the Western Orthodox bishops. This formula from Rimini and Seleucia was reaffirmed by a Council of Constantinople in 360, sent by the imp. Constantius to all the provinces, ordering all the bishops to receive her, for fear of severe punishment. Woolfila and the church he founded recognize Arianism in its wording, defined by the Council of the Omani in Constantinople in 360, in which the “Apostle of the Germanic peoples” himself participated (cf. Rosen Milev, Wulfila, the Goths, Europe, Sofia, 2004). , pp. 26). As an ethnarch of his people, “Gothic Moses” had no alternative but to carry out the will of the emperor, who gave refuge to his people and contributed to his spiritual, educational and missionary work in the Danube region of the Eastern Roman Empire. In the name of the unity of the Church of Christ and the religious pacification of the empire, even the proven firm pro-Nicaean and moderator of the councils of Nicaea and Serdica, Bishop Hosea of Cordoba, now a centenarian, signed the second formula of Sirmium in 357.
The Second Ecumenical Council, with its first rule, defends the confessional formula (Symbol of Faith) developed at the Council of Nicaea in 325, anathematizing any heresy, ancient or emerging, as a branch of Arianism (anti-Trinitarianism) in its final or more moderate forms. This “programmatic” first rule puts an end once and for all to these concerns and resolves Trinitarian disputes in their full spectrum. First, Macedonia (the ancestor of Macedonianism or spiritual struggle) was condemned, who taught that the Holy Spirit is a creature, not God, and is not one with the Father and the Son. In the canon, these heretics are referred to as semi-Aryans because they had the correct teaching about the Son, but they taught the Holy Spirit that he was supposedly created and had no divine nature.
Semi-Aryans are also those who considered the Son and the Spirit to be creatures, but still received being in a different way from other creatures. The position of those who claim that the Word of God and the Holy Spirit are not one, but similar to the Father is also semi-Arian. Thus excommunication is provided for the Eunomians (by the heresiarch Eunomius epic of Kizik), who assumes that the Son is in all respects unlike the Father, and the same heretics are also called Eudoxians (in Kizik). The council also anathematized the Savelians (followers of the heresy leader Savelius the Libyan bishop of Ptolemaida of Pentapolis), who preached a mixture and merging in one face of the three incarnations of one being and deity, i.e. they received in the Trinity a person of the same name, claiming that God was transfigured and took on a different form, either as Father or as Son, and sometimes as the Holy Spirit. What follows is the unappealable condemnation of the theaching of the false teacher Markel of Ankira, who studied the same with Savelius. Savelianism in its defense of the divinity of the Son of God against the theory of subordinationism went so far as to deny the hypostatic differences between the Father and the Son and claimed that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit constitute a hypostasis without any distinction between the Persons of the Holy Trinity. The participant in the First Ecumenical Council Ep. Markel of Ancyra is a fierce opponent of Arius and a zealous defender of the oneness of the Son with the Father. After the council, he chose the semi-Aryans as his target, attacking in his writings the Arians Asterius, Paul of Antioch, Eusebius of Nicomedia, Origen and Eusebius of Caesarea. In his jealousy he fell from the purity of the faith in Savellianism and approached in his views Paul of Samosata (Euseb., Contra Marcellum, lib. I, cap. 4, – Migne, sg, t.24, col. 749-773).
It is against these two heretical teachings that the pre-Nicene conservative bishops, who supported the anti-Nicene party of the semi-Aryans during the Council of Philippopolis in 343, resolutely fought because they feared that the innovations in the Creed would not revive the above categorical teachings of God. At the Council of Antioch in 330, the supporter of St. Athanasius the Great, Eustatius the Epistle of Antioch, was deposed by his department on charges of Sabellianism. The pre-Nicaean conservative current could not but be satisfied with the anathemas of Marxism, which denied the eternal incarnation of the Son and taught that when the end of the world came, the end of Christ’s kingdom would come, and even of Christ’s very existence. This God-hating teaching of Markel is testified not only by Eusebius of Caesarea, but also by church fathers and teachers such as Athanasius the Great (De Synodis, – Migne, sg, vol. 26, col. 725 et seq.), Cyril of Jerusalem, (De Secundo Christi Adventu, – Catechesis XV, num. 27, – Migne, sg, t. 33, col. 909-912), Hilarii (Hilarii Fragm. II, n. 21, – Migne, sg, t. 10, col. 650-651); as well as authoritative church historians such as Socrates (Socrat., Hist. eccl. II, 19, – Migne, sg, t. 67, col. 224-233) and Theodorit (Theodor., Haeret. fab. comp., lib. II), No. 10, – Migne, sg, v. 83, col. 396-397). Markel’s justification with Athanasius of Alexandria at the Council of Rome in 340 and his defense by the Roman bishop Julius I at the Council of Serdica in 343 were understood by some more conservative bishops as recognition of his teaching as orthodox. Such fears are finally dispelled by the conciliar fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council with the addition, precisely because of this heresy, which denies the eternity of Christ’s kingdom, in the Nicene Creed of the phrase: “and His kingdom will have no end.”
Finally, the canon ends with the transmission of the anathema of Photinianism and Apollinarianism (Apollinarius’ doctrine of the humanity of Christ was condemned by the Council of Antioch in 362). /Note: the word “anathema” in the New Testament is most often used by St. Apostle. Paul (cf. 1 Cor. 16:22; Rom. 9: 3; Gal. 1-8) in the sense of: 1. complete extermination (exsecratio, separation, abalienatio) and 2. eternal destruction (aeternum exitium). Athanasius the Great interpreted the words of the apostle as follows: “Separate him from the Church and from the believers, and let everyone who does not believe be removed from the people” (Athanas., De parabolis Scripturae, quest. CIII: Migne, sg, p. 28, col. 760, – quoted in the Rules of the Holy Orthodox Church with their interpretations, Sofia, 1912, p. 376).