When the Protestant churches appeared in the sixteenth century, they became equally involved in politics and conflict. The Chronicle of the World has the following report:
All Europe is holding its breath as the German princes – Catholics and Protestants alike – prepare for a war which threatens to engulf the whole continent.
The war actually began in 1618 and resulted in 30 years of fighting between Catholics and Protestants.
The decisions made by the church that caused the conflicts were political. The principle of showing love to all and of non-aggression that we considered earlier was obviously ignored.
Extract from Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, (link to external site)
As Christianity evolved from a charismatic cult on the fringes of society into an institution eager to live in harmony with that society, the hopes of *apocalyptic millenarianism embarrassed church leaders, who emphasized that Jesus' kingdom was "not of this world." Whereas almost every prominent Christian writer of the 1st century posited a literal millennialism, by late in the 2nd century ecclesiastical writers had begun an assault on millenarian texts (especially the Revelation to John, the only New Testament text to explicitly address an earthly kingdom). Origen, an early 3rd-century theologian, argued that the millennium should be interpreted allegorically; others attempted to eliminate Revelation from the canon altogether (the Eastern church succeeded). When Christianity became the official state religion, millenarianism was pushed to the very margins of acceptable Christian thought.
* “Apocalyptic millenarianism” is the belief in the overthrow of current world governments by Christ when he sets up a worldwide kingdom which will last for 1000 years (a millennium).