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- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Throughout its history Christianity has divided itself more than once over doctrinal issues while early age governments dared to modify and control the definition of the Godhead. But the Bible is plain enough; Colossians 2:9 (KJV) "For in him, (Jesus) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." This is a Bible verse. However, mankind sought to complicate the godhead with a 225 A.D. doctrine of "Trinity." Before we go into it, lets read another descriptive verse that clearly states "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation". 2 Corinthians 5:19. Ref. Gateway.com.
First, we must acknowledge that the doctrine of trinity was an invention of a man named Tertullian, its contents adopted at the convergence of the Roman (Pagan) church into the early new testament "Christian" church which was founded solely by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. The ex-temporary position or "use" of the trinitarian creed was to help consolidate a nation with many "gods" into a young but aggressive church that supposedly believed in the One True God and in the Saving Role of "Son-ship" (Jesus Christ) and in the Holy Spirit of God. But first we must note the action of the ancient Roman Church, making itself the head or governing body of the Christian faith by public/political declaration of the emperor. It stated "We ARE NOW CHRISTIAN!" This pretty much left the real and original Apostolic believers of Jesus out of the picture. So in the management of, and grafting of itself into the " Jesus Church", Roman councils now had to do a "makeover" of the doctrine. THEY are culpable and perhaps guilty of adding to the Holy Scripture; for they claimed at this point God is a Trinity, and that you must believe the Trinity in order to be saved. First the basic inventor of trinity, Tertullian, and then the church council declaring it "law": Additionally, through history you will find the adoption of this doctrine through church councils, through rulers of civilization adopting trinity doctrine by sovereign national decree, etc. On and on until it just simply became "tradition!" History shows that the church of England, France, Italy, and many other autocratic nations made trinity their national doctrine. It has dominated the State churches and is interestingly a critical doctrine to the Roman Catholic church to this day. In fact they claim any and all religions or denominations that adhere to the Trinity are their "daughters". Though all of this is true of history, we still have to ask, Was Jesus Christ or God Almighty the author of this? Why was it not taught or mentioned by God in his holy word? Why was it not taught by Jesus Christ himself?
At this point in my life, I cannot find substance or proof in the Bible to validate using the term trinity, for these reasons:
1) It is not a term used in the bible.
2) There is no reference in the Word of God asking us to re-explain his deity and existence.
3) There is no prophecy or reference to the Holy spirit being a human.
4) There IS specific reference to God being a spirit and not having flesh and bones. Only in the son-ship is there a bodily form specified, and that as a heavenly authored, virgin birth conception.
5) In the birth of Jesus we KNOW there was a baby that grew up into a man, which defies reference to an eternal flesh and blood person. He would have had to be already grown up in heaven and then reborn into the flesh as a baby. Luke said (Jesus) was the ONLY begotten son of the father, so how could that be? An eternal son is now begotten?
6) I feel safer NOT using Tertullian based trinity terms or any other human concept or doctrine for the simple reason they are man-made, and not authenticated by the scripture.
7) Isaiah (old testament prophet) amply allows for the Christ child, and the Savior to come, without altering or changing the eternal oneness of God. All of Isaiah is filled with Gods One-ship. We might be bringing a curse by trying to make that oneness into three distinct persons with distinct humanness, with separate minds, with separate goals, etc.
8) The purpose of God was fulfilled in a father-son-holy spirit manifestation. It was his method to reach mankind and to re-unite mankind to himself. It was not to separate, or to present separate co-equal god-ships, as that would have violated who he was.
conclusion: I can believe in the God of the Bible without using a man made concept of trinity. I understand for many that this is a stumbling-block, as they have been mainstreamed into orthodoxy, Catholic, Trinity, and other religious tradition.
Many world-wide believers have remained true to the Bible and its teachings. If you do so, however, you won't be using the word trinity, or terms like "co-equal persons" because they aren't in Gods book of life. God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. There's nothing hard or complicated about that. When it says great is the mystery of Godliness, God was manifest in the flesh, he didn't say "in three flesh's" , but only one flesh.. How he otherwise manifested himself in history is best left as it is.
Several times we are told, "but ye brethren may understand the mystery, and are not in darkness, etc.:" Rightly dividing the word of truth and loving the truth is important. We must not add any man made doctrines, of which there are many. Trinity doctrine was created and written and approved by supposed converted Roman scholars who were engaged in taking over the fledgling but already established early church and this doctrine was consequently incorporated with and has dominated many organizations without authenticity, except by church propagation of councils, and orders and as a separate doctrine than of the true bible. HOW can it be believed or taught as truth, if it has (supposedly) been added to the faith as a valid teaching, yet authored not by God, but by man? Why would anyone WANT to add to the word of God, with the threat of Biblical curses on those who do?
IF God DOES have a specific form or shape, it obviously is not a human body, as he is God, and he specifically says he does not have flesh and bones. To even think so is silly. To think that of the spirit also is just as silly. Perhaps it is just as humans with human minds we think we have to give God a body that we can identify. Well, could it just be, that he did give us one we could identify and trust in and hope for? The person of Jesus in Salvation. WE will know the rest of it as soon as we have our own glorified bodies and are over there in the supernatural realm, right? according to Isaiah 9:6, Jesus IS the mighty God come in the flesh.
T.D.Jakes seems to have the best explanation of the Godhead when he says, "God disguised himself in human flesh when he came down here to die on the cross for our sins". He repeats many times when he teaches on the Godhead that God himself was merely in disguise as a human. So if you are still uncertain, look at it like this. God went to great lengths to tell us and show us he wasn't a person like we are. That he was was instead a living spirit. But when he needed to get down here where we are and let us experience his love and compassion and to become the lamb sacrifice for our sins, he made himself into the likeness of a man ( in Christ Jesus). Likewise the Holy Spirit never was a man either. It wasn't a separate person from God. It was and always will be simply the Power of God. How could anyone ever contrive to make it another separate person besides from God, since God was and is a living spirit, not a flesh and blood person except in Christ Jesus as the Lamb? I submit that God is God. He is Jehovah Elohim Saboath = The Lord God, the Redeemer, the Creator! Jehovah means by itself, " I am that I am". - There is only one God, and one Lord Jesus Christ and only one Holy Spirit: So, simply, One God who was the Lord Jesus Christ in Salvation, and the Holy Spirit of God and of Jesus Christ. Almighty God Ra-ah. The Lord is my shepherd! A salvation drama like no other, the one and only Jehovah-Jehoshua- Christos! To make another point, there are 22 Jehovah titles for God.. You're gonna get confused if you try to make 22 into a trinity. Just believe I Am that I Am! Amen.
Addendum to Hub
Well, I closed the discussion, but have an update, and want to thank those who commented. I was informed by one of the commentators, that he supported wholeheartedly the view that you cannot be saved without using or accepting the trinity. I want to comment on this thought. It may or may not convince you, but it is what it is; and anyone is free to start their own hub with further information.
1) Most denominations believe and teach that the Bible is whole in itself and that an individual may be saved by the teachings of the Bible. So for thought, do you believe that? If you do, then why are we discussing a need for another book, or doctrine outside of the bible?
2) Knowing that the Early Church was taken over, or hijacked by the Roman church/state government while some of the apostles were still alive, is scary. The issues were that the Roman church and state were hunting down and putting to death the original followers of Jesus. Also that they were driven out into catacombs and into the hills and feared for their lives is apprehensible. -But in a stroke of genius and the stroke of a pen, the Roman Emperor consolidated itself into the Christian fellowship, and simultaneously appointed itself the head of the newly formed Christian Church.. Well, you might say great!! What a Blessing! but the truth is that the real Christians were now in a predicament, part of which they knew this was the ultimate terror to the church, as the Romans wanted to control the church and its activities and doctrines. Still yet another event, the invention of the Trinity, primarily written by a man named Tertullian. Constantine and the Roman Church Council agreed that this doctrine was a perfect way to consolidate the Romans with the newly merged entities. The way the trinity made three co-equal Persons of the Godhead was perfect to appease the Multi-God believing Romans, and made another tool of great influence available for cementing its position of rule over the Church.
3)Where were the original Apostles and disciples during this time? They were certainly not in the middle of the state church. they were pushed aside and remained hunted and chased and told they must die if they could not embrace the new leadership and especially the newfound doctrine of trinity.
4)Through the ages the state church which became the Roman Catholic Church held the control of the masses through the proclamation of the trinity and through doctrines like sainthood. They along with other developed religions who also subscribed to the trinity would quickly brand anyone who did not accept this teaching as "heretic". In many cases they would be stoned or put to death by other means, including torture which was meant to make the person "recant". I assert with much knowledge available of history, that this was implemented by use of force, with severe political and physical repercussions. This use of trinity doctrine slowly but surely bled into almost all mainstream denominations, Eastern and Western orthodoxy included. Lutheran and Wesleyan and Baptist followed.
5)The way this doctrine was invented, implemented and enforced was political based. It had a purpose of detracting from the cause of the original believers and followers of Christ. I do not want to be a part of this. Not even after many say "Oh, it is a wonderful way to view the Godhead". My answer remains that If God had wanted to be known this way he would have simply said "In the beginning the trinity this or the trinity that". If you want proof that it is political and a tool for the councils of man made churches, just begin to disagree and they will quickly bar you from their doors. This man-made conveyance turned into something they say is equal to the bible. In their view, don't grab your bible without grabbing your trinity manual. Suddenly the bible itself is not enough. Where did we go astray?
6) I ask those who assert the bible cannot be used without the trinity terminology, by whose orders? We each have to make up our minds to what we will believe. I believe God robed himself in flesh. that he came here to save us. He came as Jesus Christ. He was the son of God in the flesh. He was Almighty God in the Spirit. He was and is the Holy Spirit living in the hearts and lives of believers. Let this same mind be in you, that was in Christ. We are his at his appearing if we have washed our robes in the blood of the lamb. Churches cannot build empires and control God or rule His kingdom, but they try to . They would tell God, "oh wonderful trinity", -but God never used that word! And he never said he wanted someone to invent that way of belief!
7) I wonder how then the church can get away with labeling people, and putting them to death? Is that a character trait of the Christian faith? Isn't that more like the Muslims? Many times the Word of God proclaims " there is no other God besides me." Jesus said "when you have seen me, you have seen the Father". In the fullness of times, God came down from heaven in the form of a man. Isaiah 9:6 declares HE was the mighty God, the everlasting father and the prince of peace. -How he did that, Only he had the knowledge of what to do. I don't need mans terminology. I want Gods own terminology and it's found in the book of life.
8) Its not like God didn't have a full vocabulary to work with when he spoke, and when he directed the books of the bible written by prophets, disciples and inspired men and women. Its important that we not use terminology he did not use or approve. terms like "co-equal, trinity, second person of the godhead, etc., were not necessary in the original text. Its also important to know that salvation, doctrine and grace can be taught without using the terms that are trade-mark to the trinity doctrine.
9)The entire Bible is complete in itself, but that's NOT what trinity traditionalists would have you believe. They portray the trinity concept as authentic because it was "foundational". Foundational to what? It was written by the same church that was trying to eradicate the Christian faith before and after the takeover plot by Emperor Constantine and the religious scribes of that day. Further, the actions they took were specifically designed to arrest this upstart faith based on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the very one who astounded the elders in the synagogues of Israel even before he was a teenager. It was designed to put a bridle on this new "religion" of Christianity. It was even a threat to Judaism, so there was much support to wrap this brilliant doctrine of trinity around the true gospel in order for the Roman synagogues to squelch its voice and to tame it. It became the corral that circled around the original Jesus disciples and to brand this movement for the Roman Church and to make it powerless without one first seeking the approval of Rome-dom.
10) Only left to say is those who are indoctrinated in the trinity are compelled to argue its "autonomous" existence and claim it has higher power than the word of God itself. If Christians today really understood these things they would question any participation with it. We who hold the bible as the highest and fully complete authority of our faith do not have these concerns to worry about. If we stay in the bible we are always going to be ok! Right? There is NOTHING about the bible or its doctrines that we deny. There is NOTHING about the Godhead or Deity that we cannot grasp through the Bible and the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us. David was a man after Gods own heart. He was deeply insightful to the nature of God and I am sure he would have used any terminology that was pleasing to the Lord. Peter or Paul would have told us if there was a reason to make a new doctrine, but instead they said "there is NO new doctrine than what we have taught you!". What more do I need to say about that?
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© 2015 Oscar Jones