The Macedonians were a heretical Christian sect of the late 4th century. Their name comes from Macedonius I of Constantinople (died after 360). They  professed a belief similar to that of Arianism, but apparently denying the personhood and divinity of the Holy Spirit, and regarding the substance of Jesus Christ as being the same in kind (but not the same substance) as that of God the Father. The sect's members were also known as pneumatomachi, the ‚Äúspirit fighters," by their opponents.

Macedonius, and the Macedonians, held that God the Son was of "similar substance" (homoiousion) to God the Father, but not of the "same substance" (homoousion), which was the accepted definition of Christian orthodoxy affirmed by the council of Nicaea in 325.

This council did not settle the matter for many so in 358, the Roman Emperor Constantius II requested two councils, one of the western bishops at Ariminum and one of the eastern bishops (planned for Nicomedia but actually held at Seleucia) to resolve the Arian controversy. From these conferences came a slightly different controversy. 

The Macedonians continued to support the Homoiousian (similar substance) creeds of Antioch and Seleucia and condemn the Homoian creeds of Ariminum and Constantinople, calling new synods to support their views and condemn their opponents. 

A further issue was the teaching that the Holy Spirit was not a person ("hypostasis"), but simply a power ("dynamic") of God. Therefore the Spirit was inferior to the Father and the Son.

The nature of the connection between the Macedonians and Bishop Macedonius I is unclear; most scholars today believe that Macedonius had died (around 360) before the sect emerged. The writings of the Macedonians have all been lost, and their doctrine is known mainly from refutations by church leaders. Two prominent 4th century writers, Athanasius of Alexandria and Basil of Caesarea, wrote polemics against Macedonianism (Letters to Serapion and On the Holy Spirit respectively).

The teachings of the Macedonians were formally condemned in 381 by the First Council of Constantinople. The Council responded to the theological challenge of the Macedonians by revising the Nicene Creed into present form used in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches and prohibited any further alteration of the Creed without the assent of an Ecumenical Council. The Macedonian heresy was subsequently suppressed by the emperor Theodosius I.


Macedonian Teachers

Macedonius, bishop of Constantinople (342-346 and 351-360).

Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem (350-386).

Marathonius, bishop of Nicomedia (c. 351-?).

Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus (c. 351-360).

Sophronius, bishop of Pompeiopolis (?-360).

Eustathius, bishop of Sebastia (died c. 377)

Sabinus, bishop of Heraclea (c. 425). 2/5/10 2/5/10 2/5/10