Sort of like He did in bringing Hell and eternal torment to the world?
(Said in the most humorous and non judgmental spirit possible )
I once thought I was a Binitarian, since I believed that Jesus was divine, and did not believe that the Holy Spirit was a third divine Individual, but was the Persons of the Father and of the Son. However Binitarian thought considers God to be a Binity. In that way it is still subject to the same problems as the Trinity.
I find it so much simpler to believe as Jesus Himself did, in the “One True God.” (John 17:3) and Jesus the Messiah whom He sent.
Or in one God—the Father, the Creator of all things, and in one Lord—Jesus the Messiah THROUGH whom God created all things. (1 Cor 8:6)
Count me in, Paidion.
Taken in said spirit…no worries. And I do see the inherent humor and irony here. All I can say is we must consider apparent historical effect. ECT and the Trinity surely cannot be considered parallel ideas, at least not on the level of effect. The latter seems absurd and pointless to many, but I don’t think one could claim it has harmed anyone psychologically or spiritually. Rather, since my own experience is not unique, I can say it has certainly helped, cheered, comforted, and even healed many people through the centuries. The former, on the other hand, has (as most of us know) been a brutal tool for threats, repression, and manipulation - and is, you would doubtless agree, an intrinsically harmful belief, both to the one who holds it to be true, and potentially to anyone coming under his or her influence.
Unless you r told because you do not believe in the Trinity you are not in the body of Christ and destined for hell- a heretic. Or maybe sent “there” by being burned at the stake as was Michael Servetus. (still no offense intended, jus sayin )
Jason, do you think the Trinity is a single hypostasis or do you believe It (He? Them?) to be three hypostases?
Uh - Oh
I have to admit that I am not a Trinitarian for several reasons. Up until Christ, there was only one God, Lord and Savior over all. For me, this doesn’t change. Since the authors of the bible are testifying that Jesus is Lord and Savior, this means that He was God Himself, in the form of a man. In referring to God as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I don’t see three separate beings but God in different roles. For example, one can be a husband, son, father and teacher. This does not make such a person separate beings. In the same sense, God is the Father of creation, He is a Holy Spirit, and He came to Earth, living life as a man(a son) to reestablish His word and serve as a physical example for all of us as to how to live as a son of God.
In observation of the world around me, I see that there is only one of everything. No two things are exactly alike. I would have say that this is also true of God. There is only One. Why would God, being Lord and Savior, then make Jesus Lord and Savior? This seems redundant and unnecessary. God made man(the son). Each of us is given authority over our own lives. It is because of God that we are also creators. He is the first and in turn created us as such. This is what gives us freedom. We are sons of God when we individually and collectively follow in His ways. We then become all in all with God.
Lastly, if we start separating God into different beings for all the things written about Him in the bible, there would be more than three. Revelation 4:5 states that there are seven Spirits of God. Proverbs chapter 8 speaks of wisdom as a person. Is this a separate being? For me, there is only one God.
I think the position you have expressed above is known as “Modalism” (God exists in three different modes: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.) Modalists compare this to an actor who wears three different masks).
Some Modalists deny that they are, in fact, Modalists. Do you accept the label of “Modalist”?
I have come to realize that there are even many who claim to be Trinitarians who are actually Modalists. The first example that I encountered as a teenager, was a Baptist minister’s wife. I was a classic Trinitarian at the time. I was puzzled about some aspect of Trinitarianism (I don’t remember the issue) but I asked some questions. Anyway in response to me she said, “There’s only one God, you know.” From other things she said, I realized that she meant that there is only one divine Individual. So I asked her, “Then how could Jesus have prayed to the Father as to another Person?” She replied, “Don, haven’t you ever talked to yourself?”
Paidion, I didn’t know that there was a label for this. No, I don’t mind being a Modalist. I suppose if the shoe fits…
Thanks for sharing your story. I like it! I especially enjoyed the woman’s response. That’s a good one.
One of the reasons I think the New Testament is written in such a fashion that is not quite straightforward, is that times were very dangerous. Even Jesus, after performing miracles, would tell the people not to say anything. I think He wanted to have time to speak His message before being charged with blasphemy. He also spoke in parables so that only the wise would understand. I think the authors were hoping that later on, when times were safe, that we’d be able to read between the lines so to speak and say that yes, Jesus was none other than God Himself in the flesh.
Then again, in answer to my own question “Why would God,being Lord and Savior, then make Jesus Lord and Savior?”, maybe God’s six days were up.He does say in Genesis 6:3 “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh.” He probably got sick and tired of our crap, decided to retire,and handed everything over to a younger Spirit.
Hi again, LLC
There is a denomination which holds your position concerning God—the United Pentecostal Church.
They won’t accept the label “Modalist.” They call their position “Oneness.” We sometimes attended a UPC in our area. I was friends with the pastor. He gave me a book written by one of the UPC apologists, David K. Bernard. The title of the book is “The Oneness of God.” You can buy the physical book from Amazon, or you can download the book as a pdf file FREE from the site below:
There’s also a wealth of information, written intelligently, here: onenesspentecostal.com/index.htm
It is a theological position that I cannot grasp. The site I linked to has a lot of Q+A and it still makes my head spin.
As well, the insistence on speaking in tongues as necessary!!! for salvation - that is, unless you have that particular sign of receiving the Holy Spirit, you are not a saved Christian, even if the rest of your theology is perfectly scriptural - well, I think that insistence is misplaced.
But as I said, I can’t quite mentally grasp what the teaching of Oneness IS.
Paidion, Thanks for the reference. I must go to the library and see if they have it. I’m still the old-fashion type.
DaveB, I’m with you. TMI for me too. Some of the questions are even downright bizarre. (Are aliens really fallen angels?) I figure if God doesn’t want any of us to be ignorant, it can’t be that complex, especially for me. I don’t really get into demons or angels, or trying to figure out what is going on in the heavenly realm. I’m pretty much still trying to figure out what’s happening here on Earth.
For what it’s worth, there are a couple articles from Wiki and CARM on Oneness Pentecostalism:
Randy, you’re so funny! Thanks for the laugh.
You’re right, Brother. I assume you speak from experience, and I’m sorry for that. It’s a great tragedy that such a beautiful truth (as I see it) has often been made into yet another litmus test for defining the “ins” and the “outs”. I was raised with a certain version of “salvation by creed” myself. Now I say to anyone, “Forget about what you can’t or don’t believe. Strive to follow Jesus; strive to trust him as much as you can; if you can worship him, do that; cling to whatever affection you have for him, with all your meager power, and all your broken will; when you fail, repent (when you succeed, repent!); strive to let him lead you in the way of the Cross, and on to death…so to live for the first time. These things will save you.” And even then, these are not things we do - because, as I think Cindy mentioned above, what we do or believe does not really save us…Jesus saves us - rather, they are Jesus in us, acting in our interest. I am confident that in the end he will see to all my needs of transformation, as he will sort out all my misconceptions of the nature and being of my Maker - three, one, or otherwise.
I referred LLC to Bernard’s book with the intent that he might find affirmation for his belief in the Oneness of God in possibly the best book ever written in support of that view.
I really don’t think it is necessary to express what we believe to be flaws or failings of the United Pentecostal denomination. All denominations have flaws and failings of one kind or another.
Absolutely. I am so glad of that, and the assurance of it has always insulated me against the creeds and soteriology of others. As I have explored with an open mind(secured in the validity of the scriptures properly translated) the seams where many of these paradoxical doctrines intergrate, I have been blessed to retain the elevation of knowing “nothing but Christ and Him crucified” as a centerpoint from which my wanderings can be navigated from a genuine “true north” upon my spiritual compass.