AVA, Mo., (April 18, 2016) — In recent years, religious liberty has been the topic of much debate and discussion. In fact, the Barna Group released a report showing that concerns over religious freedom in America have grown significantly. From overt concerns over the right to worship, to people upset about coffee cups they felt didn’t represent the Christmas holiday, the conversation has often been heated.
Starting April 28, the Ava Seventh-day Adventist Church will explore this fascinating subject as revealed through the Bible, in addition to a source that illustrates the topic perfectly: the life of the Emperor Constantine.
This series, hosted by Voice of Prophecy Speaker/Director Shawn Boonstra, will take a documentary-style, Bible-based approach to this topic. Boonstra recently traveled to countries such as Serbia, Italy and Turkey to make history come to life and reveal little-known details about this intriguing historical figure. Boonstra was even granted rare access to a major archeological dig site, on the location believed to be one of Constantine’s homes.
It’s the story of an unlikely emperor born out of wedlock and into poverty, who rose to power against staggering odds, and whose legacy has endured for centuries. The story of the costs and sacrifices made in the name of religious freedom will approach his life story from a new angle.
“This series will be an honest examination of the church and prophetic history that will answer many questions people have today,” said Boonstra. “By simply taking a fascinating trip into the past, the world we live in now will suddenly make a lot more sense.”
This series will address questions such as:
- Was the marriage of Constantine’s government and Christianity a good thing for Christians?
- Why did the early Christians have so much trouble fitting in?
- Did Bible prophecy really predict that the government would persecute the
- Was it a good idea for the Roman emperor to step in and try to solve the internal
disputes within the church?
- If Christians really are Jesus’ followers, then why do they still have disputes?
Ava Seventh-day Adventist Church is thrilled to be hosting this series. Shadow Empire will involve both documentary-style and live elements, featuring local moderator Eck Ulrich.
All are welcome to attend this free event, and all attendees will receive a copy of Boonstra’s new book, Shadow Emperor. “During Shadow Empire, you will learn how Constantine’s impact continues to echo through the lives of every person on earth today,” said Boonstra. “I hope you will join us for this intriguing study!”
Topics will include: “The Rise of the Early Church,” “The Persecution of the Church,” “A Marriage of Church and State” and “Constantine’s Christianity.”
Shadow Empire begins Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m. in the Ava Seventh-day Adventist Church located off Hwy. 5, north of Ava, across from the Foxtrotter’s arena. The series will continue nightly through Sunday at 7 p.m.
For more information visit www.shadowempire.com.