Come join us for Shadow Empire, a presentation and discussion focused on examining religious freedom and the role that the Roman Emperor Constantine played in the history of Christianity. This special 4-session event takes place over four days: Tuesday September 6, 13, 20 & 27 at 7pm.
Tuesday, September 6, 7:00pm Session 1: The Rise of the Early Church
Pastor Boonstra will start in the ancient village of Naissus, an old Roman outpost-where a 16-year old girl gets pregnant after sleeping with a high-ranking Roman officer. She gives birth to a little boy who later rules the whole world-the man who became the Emperor Constantine. But Constantine had a real problem: he was a peasant who had to prove that his real father was the governor of Dalmatia, a very powerful man. It's a story that you have to see to believe. Pastor Boonstra will also share the state of the early church and the beginnings of its transformation from persecution to absolution in the Roman Empire.
Tuesday, September 13, 7:00pm Session 2: The Persecution of the Church
This deals with a really big question: Why did the Roman Empire hate Christianity? Why did they torture Christians and put them to death? Why have Christians always been so countercultural? Pastor Boonstra will follow the young man Constantine as he heads to modern-day Turkey to work for Diocletian, the emperor who actually launched the 10-year persecution predicted in the letter to Smyrna in Revelation 2.
Tuesday, September 20, 7:00pm Session 3: A Marriage of Church and State
As Constantine conquers the city of Rome and becomes the undisputed emperor, he sees the cross in the sky and hears a voice telling him to conquer in the sign of the cross. Pastor Boonstra will take the audience into Rome and reveal something that very few people have ever heard-and it might just change the way you tell the story of prophecy.
Tuesday, September 27, 7:00pm Session 4: Constantine's Christianity
Pastor Boonstra will look at the way Christians eventually begged the Roman emperor to get involved in the church, raising some simple questions: Was it really a good idea for the church and state to mix? Where, exactly, did people learn to burn heretics at the stake? Did they get that from Jesus-or did they get that from Constantine?