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Switch to Forum Live View Thoughts on the Trinity
5 years ago  ::  Aug 09, 2009 - 7:21PM #1
Keyfer
Posts: 2,846





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This post directly challenges the idea that the Christian God is three separate and distinct People. It is not presented as an attack of any kind, this is me sharing what I believe at this point in time. I sincerely believe that the ideas presented here are scriptural, God honoring and above all, true. I would appreciate your feedback very much, thank you in advance for your honest comments whether pro or con. 




Israelites were taught that God is one person. De 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:” (KJV) Isa 43:11 “I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.” (KJV) Isa 44:6 “The Lord, the King of Israel, even the Lord of armies who has taken up his cause, says, I am the first and the last, and there is no God but me.” (Basic English Version)


In Isiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Notice that this is a prophecy that the son given (Jesus) shall be called, “everlasting Father”. In Colossians 2:9, Paul says that the fullness of the Godhead exists in the Lord Jesus Christ and in John 14:10 and elsewhere, the Lord confirms that the Father is in Him. In the following verse from Matthew, Jesus explains that He reveals the Father to whomsoever He will…Mt 11:27 “…neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Philip asked the Lord to reveal the Father to him in John 14:8 & 9, “Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” Notice that He directed Philip's attention to Himself, not to a different person. If the Father was a different person, I believe that the Lord would have said something like, “When you get to heaven, I will introduce you to my Father.”


Now, if you will, go to our Lord in prayer and ask Him to show you the Father. Can you imagine Him giving you a different answer?


In Mt 28:18, Jesus said that all power in heaven and on earth was given to Him. If God exists in 3 persons, how could only one have all power? If one has all power, the other 2 have no power. What kind of God has no power?


I realize that this is a rather controversial subject and that most of us Christians have been taught that God exists in 3 separate and distinct divine persons. I was confused about this for a long time and have eventually come to the conclusion that God is one person Who exists as a Trinity. In other words, The Holy Trinity is not a trinity of people. This is how I see it... Jehovah had to clothe Himself with a physical body and make it divine (one with Himself) in order to preserve the human race along with our ability to freely choose good and reject evil, He accomplished this in Jesus Christ. During this deification process, Jesus referred to His Father and prayed to Him as though He were a different person because He was.


The body that Jehovah prepared for Himself with Mary had a personality from Mary who prayed to and referred to Jehovah as his father. This personality had evil inclinations and could therefore be tempted with evil. Of course, Jesus never gave in to temptation and therefore, never sinned.


Matthew 4:1 “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”


 


God has no evil inclinations and therefore cannot be tempted with evil.


 


James 1:13 “...God cannot be tempted with evil...”




If Jesus had existed from eternity as fully God, then came to earth, He could not have been tempted with evil.


Jesus, before being deified, had to successfully overcome every possible temptation.


Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”


After Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life and was deified ( “I must go to the Father” ), He was made the one and only manifestation of Jehovah, the Everlasting Father, the Alpha and the Omega, God in His fullness. The evil inclinations inherited from us through Mary were completely displaced by Jehovah's Divine inclinations (as is ours, to a degree, during our regeneration). Jesus is the only God of Heaven and Earth. When we look at Jesus, we see Jehovah because He is Jehovah. In Him, God became man and man became God, in other words, Jehovah became Jesus and Jesus became Jehovah. The prophecy in Isiah 9:6 has come to pass (The son given us has become the Everlasting Father). He is now present with us as the Holy Spirit ( I am with you always - Matthew 28:20).


The Holy Trinity is not a trinity of separate and distinct people, but consists of Essence (Father), Body (Son), and Spirit, which emanates, or proceeds from Him. Which we as receptacles are capable of receiving and acting from. We each, being created in His image, exist as a trinity also. We consist of essence in a body and have that which proceeds from us which others detect and refer to as “personality” or “spirit” (Example, she has a good personality, or spirit).




PS - If we Christians promote the idea of God being three separate and distinct persons, are we not forfeiting our status as a monotheistic religion? We may say that we believe in One God in three Divine Persons but couldn't any polytheistic religion claim to be monotheistic using that argument (One God in 100 or more Divine Persons)?


What do you think?


 

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 10, 2009 - 7:51AM #2
mfjfarrell
Posts: 236

Dia annseo isteach!


God to all here!


Greetings Keyfer,


Thanks for joining us here with your post.  Much of your thinking / writing is within the thoughts and writings of the Early Church Fathers in some ways.  From your post, I observed that you do not quote any of the vast materials already dealing with these issues in the Early Church.  You quote 'only scripture', 'sola scriptura', so yes, you are limiting your understanding to just the Western mindset and interpretation of those Scriptures.


Allow me to provide you a link to some of the writings of the Early Church Fathers who struggled with many issues that constitute our understandings that we hold so dear now.  www.earlychristianwritings.com/  As you go thought these writings of the Early Church, you will see emerge a picture of those early struggles to define doctrine.  Some are very thoughtful and intense, others may appear laughable to us now!  In addition to these writings I would suggest you also research the early Ecumenical Councils that defined our beliefs and creeds.  This was a very hot issue in the beginning and had many variations and perceptions, some, similar to your own.  Yet, through all these struggles and disagreements, a common creed emerged that we hold to as the essentials of our faith.


There is a prejudice in the Western thinking that attempts to approach God through reasoning and logic.  Yet, with all our best philosophers and theologians, there are still many areas about Him that we still concede are 'mysteries'.  In accepting these, we stand on Faith!  Faith at some points will be 'un-reasonable' in order to fit its own definition! (things unseen)


Let me thank you again for your participation here and your thoughtful post about one of our major doctrines.  As you can see, there hasn't been much activity here as of late!  My suggestion to you is that, while you stand firmly on the Scriptures you hold dear, go beyond your 'sola fide', 'sola scriptura' thinking and explore the 'Traditions' that were thrown out at the Protestant Reformation.  There is good meat there to chew on from brothers and sisters who have gone before us!  Celts were known as scholars, not only of the word (scriptures) but also of the world (nature) as well.  The Celtic Way is to find God present in all that is around us, not just the scriptures He left us.  We are known as 'People of Two Books', scripture and creation.


May God grant you His insights on your journey....


Slan,


Marty

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 10, 2009 - 8:15PM #3
Keyfer
Posts: 2,846

Dear MfjFarrell


Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful reply, I have not had many. I was raised to believe in a trinity of persons but have come to see things differently now. I have found this topic to still be a "hot" one and am thinking about just avoiding it.


Blessings


 

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 10, 2009 - 9:08PM #4
mfjfarrell
Posts: 236

Greetings Keyfer,


I would rather you pursue it than avoid it.  If the Lord put it on your heart, search it out until He has settled it there!  Again, I'll encourage you to search the early history of the Church in this since it is where much of what we hold was formulated.  It may affirm your personal beliefs or it may change the direction of your thinking.  Be a scholar and don't rest until it is completely 'yours'!


Another thing that might help you is the current book, 'The Shack'.  Its quite good in picturing how the Trinity could function.


Slan,


Marty


 

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 11, 2009 - 2:47PM #5
Keyfer
Posts: 2,846

Dear Brother,


Your words are a healing balm. You are setting a very good Christian example, in my opinion. You can reach over to someone with a different opinion and give love. I believe that is the true Christ like spirit. I am encouraged and will try to follow your example.


Thanks again. Smile

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2009 - 7:16PM #6
pilahawaiian
Posts: 452

This is what has happened to me, and what I how teach others.


You return to God with all your heart, with fast, Trinity 1.


Do this is with the teachings of Jesus,(his name is his teachings), Trinity 2.


You will be able to see the Holy Image of God within, God's Holy Temple,(YOU) God will be so pleased with you, that God will sing his praises to you within 24/7.


So when YOU, GOD and JESUS are all in ONE, that will be a TRINITY.


 

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5 years ago  ::  Sep 27, 2009 - 6:43PM #7
Wildjoy
Posts: 15

I think Trinitarian theology is rather complex, but that doesn't mean it isn't valuable. As I've learned more about it, it has become a more fertile ground of encountering the divine for me. When I was in divinity school, I remember my professor of church history opening the session on the Trinity with the comment that the concept was first developed as a response to the confusion of those who heard Christians describe themselves as monotheistic, yet spoke of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Certainly if you listen to the account of the baptism of Jesus, you can see the issue - in the story God appears as a dove (Spirit), Jesus (Son), and a voice from the heavens (Father) declaring, "This is my Son" - all at the same time!


The more I learn though, the more I appreciate the ancient formula, "three persons/one essence". I do experience God's presence that way. I can't quite put it into words - it's beyond me. But I know that I believe in only one God, yet I encounter God in different ways. I believe God is far beyond my ability (or anyone's) to capture with mere words - yet Father, Son and Spirit, or Lover, Beloved, and the Love that flows between them, or Creator, Redeemer, Giver of Life, or whatever other way we try to express it, those words all describe God to me.


The best image I ever read for came from a book I read during that time. (Unfortunately right now I can't remember the specifics, the title was something like "Is God the Only Reliable Father?") The author describes the Trinity as one essence in three persons, each completely  devoted to the others in self-giving love. The mental image I got was like a circular waterfall - each person pouring themselves out in love into the others. The author called it the Divine Dance, and affirmed that we are all invited to join the dance. It was a lovely concept that I'm sure I am not describing well, but it definately shaped my understanding of God - I try to join into that dance of loving emptying/filling/sharing!


No, I don't believe in three gods, there is only One, but I do experience that One in three persons. I suppose another way of looking at it is to think about this - when you talk to yourself, who are you talking to? Is there more than one you? No, of course not. But there are many layers of you, many ways of experiencing who you are.


Another of my favorite professors once commented, "I will defend to the end of my life and beyond the concept of the Trinity, because it proves that even God lives in community!" What the Trinity metaphor reminds us of is the importance of relationship. There is just something that is best expressed in relationship - and the revelation of God is a good example. Just think what we learn about God when we think of the Jesus giving us the Spirit, or the Spirit communicating to us the truth about the Son, or how the Son reveals the Father....


As usual, I find myself talking in circles, trying to express with words what I know without words. It's so hard to express the inexpressible! I think that's why Christianity has so many paradoxes - Christ is fully human and fully divine, we find ourselves when we lose ourselves, etc.


But for what it's worth, that's my thoughts on the issue.

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5 years ago  ::  Sep 27, 2009 - 9:43PM #8
mfjfarrell
Posts: 236

Dia annseo isteach!


God to all here!


Greetings Wildjoy,


"As usual, I find myself talking in circles," - actually, in the Celtic Way, circles means you have come into fullness, or completion.  From what you have shard of your understandings on the Trinity, your theology is aligned very well with Eastern Orthodoxy.  In their understanding, apophatic faith, we my begin to understand God not by what we know but rather but by acknowledging Him as unknowable!


I will recommend the book "the Shack' because of its presentation of the interplay, love and natural exchange of the Trinity.  While its intent was never theological, it brings home plainly they interplay of the Trinity and the interplay with mankind.  I hope you'll take time to read it!


Let me thank you for coming bye here to our Quiet Celtic Corner, its always a pleasure to meet a fellow traveler on the path He has called us to...


Slan,


Marty

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5 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2009 - 1:28PM #9
Wildjoy
Posts: 15

Funny you should mention that - I read The Shack last year and really enjoyed it! I thought the author handled some of the particularly trickier aspects of Trinitarian theology well. In particular I'm thinking of how Jesus tells the main character that anything he says to any one of the three will be known by all since they are all one. It was a very imaginative portrayal and I liked how he pulled it off - gave me plenty to think about!

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 5:28PM #10
mfjfarrell
Posts: 236

Hey Kev,


Thanks again for your participation here.  One of our purposes in being here is to help in that relationship that you speak of, having an active relationship with God.  That relationship, however, should be part of the entire Christian experience, it must be founded on the reality of what the Christian message is/was.


As you saw with Brad, if you go off on your own, you are apt to be led astray in your own conceits.  In the West, Roman Theology predominates.  It was founded on a principle of 'original sin' which wasn't part of the either the Scriptures or the Teachings of the Early Church.  Dissecting history isn't for 'self-righteous piety', its to get to the Truth of the Christian message.  If you want a good relationship with the Source of your life, you need to know well Who he is and what he expects of you.  For many, they simply see the Angry Father God who only counts all our failings (sins).  When they hear the 'God is Love', they believe that must be for someone else!


So its important to us to have a healthy and whole understanding of our Creator God, the Lover of our Souls.  That's the message we would like to bring back to the west.  Not for our sake but because He sends us...


Slan,


Marty

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