... in that the verbiage used to justify establishment of Easter and Sunday quite plainly states that it is no longer obligatory to comply with rituals and traditions set forth by G-d through Moses and Abraham.
That's a bit of a sweeping and inaccurate assumption.
The Passover recalls a moment in the Salvation History of the Jews, but the Passion recalls a moment in the Salvation History of humanity. It's a much bigger deal. The Easter celebration of the Jews is for the Jews alone, whereas the Easter celebration of the Christian is for the whole world. The connection between the Passover and Christ is not overlooked, the Hebrew Scriptures are not ignored, but with a decade of His death was spoken of as 'our Pasch' and Jewish history is seen in that light.
The man-made traditions of Abraham and Moses, like the circumcision or divorce, were for an unruly people. The New Testament argued that it was not necessary for the Christian to observe these laws — what mattered was Baptism, and again, even in Paul's time the baptism of John the Baptist was seen as deficient, and anyone coming to the faith had to be rebapised.
But if you were steeped in the Christian Liturgy, you would not say the rituals and traditions set forth by God were no longer obligatory — again, Paul argued that the Covenant with Israel still holds. The Hebrew Scriptures we read and prayed at the sabbath observances.
The Emperor was traditionally, including Constantine, vested with both secular and religious authority.
Constantine told Arius to toe the line. Arius refused. Constantine exiled him. Arius continued to rouse support. Constantine told both Arius and Athanasius to shake hands. Both refused... both answered, as they saw it, to a higher authority. The will of the emperor was just something to be managed.
So I absolutely agree...Constantine didn't insert anything at Nicea,
Thank you, that's all I have been trying to clarify.
That a "Nativity Feast" is not mentioned at Nicea or Laodicea, compels me to believe it may have been a unilateral order from the Emperor, who was the only person in the Empire with broad enough authority to do such a thing.
Why? There's no evidence for it.
Personally, I don't it. By now things were becoming a matter of record. A synod at least would be necessary for an emperor to declare a new feast — as every other decision the emperors made were transmitted via synods. We have no reference of Dec 25 being proposed or discussed at any synod ...
Not correct...it was for *some* Christians, not all. That was the kind of problem that Nicea tried to address.
The sabbath and the Lord's Day were well established traditions by Constantine's time, we can see that is the Fathers. Even at Laodicea, 40 years later, and a decidedly anti-semitic synod, Christians still
days, the Sabbath and the Lord's Day, even though there are so many proscriptions against consorting with Jews. The Sabbath wasn't abolished, but the emphasis was definitely on the Day of Rest.