Council Day 6 Reflection (Eusebius of Nicomedia)

Part I

Emperor Constantine, Ossius, and my fellow council members, we have achieved what we had set out in the beginning of this council to do and that is to draft a Creed that we as Christians can all agree on, but also a Creed that future Christians can look towards for guidance. This Creed has not been an easy step at accomplishing, but over the past 6 council sessions we have achieved tremendous success even though many sacrifices were made as well. I, Eusebius of Nicomedia did sign the Creed, and I along with my other fellow Arians did not get become excommunicated. I was able to sign this Creed given my beliefs for various reasons.

The Creed itself states that “We believe in one God, a single unchangeable divine power, the Almighty…” and because I believe in monotheism and that God is the Almighty God that he is, I saw no reason as to refuse this. However, if we had been allowed to keep, “the Father” I would have been more satisfied.The removal of “the Father” in a way makes it seem as though we are going against what Christ says. Constantly in the Scripture, Christ refers to our God as “the Father” and never as “the Mother” even though God may display some feminine aspects such as being compassionate and having a loving nature. This is a trivial matter, so that is why I decided to ignore it.

Later on in the Creed, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, or, the Holy Ghost are discussed. The Holy Spirit was not a great concern to me, so during council discussions the part that the council members agreed on in regards to the Holy Ghost were easily agreed on. However, the most difficult part that I had signing, if not for one line was the section about Jesus Christ. The only reason that I was able to sign this Creed with that section is because it says, “Son only-begotten before all time”, this implies that God and Jesus Christ are not co-eternal or co-equal, but that God created Jesus Christ. This is something that the Alexandrian faction glossed over, which satisfied not only myself, but the other Arians.

In my opinion, I have gained much knowledge from this council as a bishop and I think my fellow council members would feel the same. I commend, Emperor Constantine for bringing the Council of Nicaea into session and I thank Ossius and my fellow council members for all of their hard-work as well. Unity was greatly achieved!

Part II

Based on the heavy debates that we had on Council Day 5, many of us must have felt the tension rising between the two factions (Arians and Alexandrians). During this particular council session there were a few items that did not sit well with me, thus that night, I had to pray to our heavenly Father above about them. Throughout Council Emperor Constantine and Ossius talked about decorum during all of the Council sessions, thus it saddens me that during this particular council session Theclus on multiple occasions talked over his fellow council members, argued at length with Alexander and at various times spoke before being acknowledge. I found this to be quite disturbing, but after praying to our heavenly Father about it, I realized that perhaps this is just Theclus’ personality. However, that does not excuse his behavior and in fact he should have respect for his fellow council members who have traveled a long way and deserve to have their own voices heard without being drowned out!

I will admit that on the debates today, I did not participate that much besides reading the canon that I wrote about the role of future councils, but because of the first canon that made Metropolitan Bishops, “the primary authority for the Church in order to protect the Church from heresy and error”, this meant there there was no longer a need for councils. However, councils would be replaced by a Pope who would be elected by the Bishop of Rome, “to settle disputes between the Metropolitan Bishops and to promote the ultimate cohesion of the Church”. This I think would allow disputes to be resolved quicker as opposed to extended council sessions, Although, I commend Emperor Constantine for conducting the Council of Nicaea because I think that it allowed those who were from different factions to reach of consensus and ultimately achieve unity.

Your humble council member,

Eusebius of Nicomedia