Being an ex Pentecostal and coming back into the Christian fold Im watching EWTN the Catholic station now Ive been praying some and actually need prayer partners if anyones interested but thats besides the point. Im in rehab for my infection long story. But anyways just thinking about the Godhead just curious if anyone is interested ind ebating oneness vs the Trinity the oneness Godhead version of God that the UPC church uses- Father son and Holy Ghost as lesser manifestations physical manifestations of God instead of literal 3 different parts of God. Im considering it now I may just find a nondenominational church that wont judge me for being oneness and go there I dont know.Any opinions?
Theo could you please explain the difference in terms a Mormon would understand, if that is possible.
Trinitarians believe in One God in three Persons; meaning that They distinguish between the Persons of God, (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and recognize Their respective identities and relationships with each other and with us. They hold these beliefs about Their Persons in tension with the belief that there is only One God; and so they conclude that each Person is God by nature, united with the Other Persons in essence, in as much as there is but One Divine Nature.
Oneness Pentecostals believe in One God who manifests Himself in various modes or offices. God is our Father in heaven, because as the Creator we are His children. He is the great Shepherd because as His sheep, we need Him to watch over us. But these offices do not make into God more than one Person... like men who are at once, bosses, fathers, sons, husbands... God wears many hats but He is only one Person.
So God is the Father in creation, and in as much as God is Spirit and Holy - God is therefore the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, however, is more complicated than the Father and the Holy Spirit. In Jesus God manifested Himself in the flesh to save the world - and thus Jesus was both God and Man. As a man, Jesus had a mortal body and His own personality made in the exact image of the Father, but Jesus was also God... meaning that God dwelled in Him in all fullness; thus He spoke both through Christ, and back and forth with Jesus - the man.
The prophets had similar natures, being fully human, and being in relationship with God, and yet being oracles for God. They spoke as God, and about God, and back and forth with God. But Jesus was more than just a prophet, in Jesus God completely robed Himself in flesh and blood... and walked a mile in our shoes - 33.5 years worth. Moreover, this Divine/Human relationship continued, and when Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, His Body became the receptacle in which God manifested His presence in all fullness.
Thus for Oneness Pentecostals, there is no problem with God sending His Son, because God and the Son were in relationship, the lesser (Man) serving the greater(God). Even so, while the Father sent the Son, it is also true that God the Father came into the world as the Son, and was thus in the flesh every bit as much as His Son was in the flesh.
When it comes to the Father/Son relationship, there is a good deal of variation in how different Oneness Pentecostals are given to explain this... some would completely deny what I said about there being two Persons in Christ, God and Man... believing that God is not a Person, but something far greater. But in my opinion that merely side steps the issue of the relationship between the Father and the Son, which even they admit existed.
Basically, what I have found is that Mormons tend to argue against Modalistic concepts, when they argue against the doctrine of the Trinity. I guess that is because in the LDS concept, God and Jesus are completely separate persons, and therefore separate Gods. So I believe that the only way for Mormons to understand the Trinity, would be for them to attribute to us everything Mormons believe about God and Jesus existing in relationship with one another - and yet somehow also believe that They are united in spiritual essence, and united in the Body of Christ... the Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwelling in Him bodily in all fullness.
Its confusing but my understanding was jesus was a physical manifestation of god like the burning bush to moses was
Jesus was God manifested in the flesh. 1 Tim 3:16 God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.
The burning bush was an angelic manifestation... Acts 7:35-36 "This Moses whom they rejected, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge?' is the one God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.
Jesus was a Man... the burning bush was a plant and an angel, big difference.
Jesus existed together with God (the Father) from the beginning - He said so Himself. John 17:5 > And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. / Notice the relationship between the Persons of the Father and the Son.
The bush did not exist before the world was... and the angel was created by God through Christ. Col 1:16 >For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
When Trinitarians say that Jesus was both God and Man, they are not saying that He was God the Father... they are saying that He is God the Son. God the Father sent the Son - He did not come Himself, He sent the Son. And the Son was God manifested in the flesh because He existed from the beginning as the express image of God the Father. The as the Father is God, (i.e. Divine) so also is the Son.