ORTHODOXY IS A WORD that has had a long and checkered history in the two-millennia-long story of the Christian faith. While the idea of orthodoxy was not completely absent even in New Testament times, the emphasis on the importance of orthodoxy was not prevalent in Christianity until the fourth century. The Ecumenical Councils of the church, beginning with the Council of Nicaea in 325, composed creeds which were intended to separate orthodoxy from heresy. More precisely, the religious and political leaders sought to remove those deemed to be heretics from the orthodox within the Church.
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