Tone it down, GB. You’re trolling and that’s not necessary. You can express your opinion without being crude and disrespectful. I mean it.
Jesus says He doesn’t know some things that the Father knows. To me this clearly indicates some discreteness of persons. (I mean discrete in the sense of one being discernable from the others. We say a husband and wife are one, yet we still recognize them as discrete persons.) Jesus emptied Himself of His divine power and glory to take on human flesh. As such, He was a human being. He wasn’t Einstein pretending to be a kindergartener. He really was a finite and limited man. He knew what the Father revealed to Him, and that’s all He knew. He said a mustard seed was the smallest of the garden seeds yet it grew into the largest of garden plants. That’s not the case at all. It was perhaps the smallest seed that grew into the largest LOCAL garden plant, but universally there are smaller seeds and there are probably larger garden plants, too. Does this bother me? Not at all. It also doesn’t bother me that He didn’t know the day of His return. Jesus really came and lived just like us–in fact, He lived AS us.
The sin against the Holy Spirit can’t be forgiven because the Spirit is grieved and turns away from those who say She is the spirit of Beelzebub. Those who commit this sin will not be saved in the age in which Jesus said this, nor in the age that was coming. I suspect this is a prophecy more than it is a penalty. It’s a warning. They harden their hearts, the Spirit turns away. When they are ready, She will return to them and then they can be saved. It’s got nothing to do with rank. You can’t be saved without the Spirit and you have made yourself unable to hear Her and insulted Her all in one go. Don’t do that. It may well have been a sin which could only have been committed by those men and in that age–but that’s just speculation and doesn’t really matter in any case. Insulting the Spirit of God is a bad move in any age.
GB, your tone is confrontational. I’m not going to argue with you. It wouldn’t take a lot for you to be respectful (and don’t pretend you’re too stupid to know how) to others while disagreeing with them. Perhaps I’m being too hard on you. I’ll tag [tag]JasonPratt[/tag] and get his opinion. Meanwhile, consider this a friendly warning. Please endeavor to speak kindly and respectfully to your fellow members of EU, including mods and admins. I’m certain you’re intelligent enough to know how to do that.
Jesus did miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit. While the gospels are full of instances of Him saying things like, “I did one miracle and you all marveled…,” the context of the whole account is clear that He saw Himself working via the power of the Holy Spirit. As to other humans doing miracles, please consider the twelve, the seventy-two, Paul, and the many other NT brothers and sisters accredited with having produced miracles. If you want something more recent, I have even been allowed on rare occasion to see the Holy Spirit do a miracle through my own hands. I’m not alone, nor am I a member of some tiny elite. Many, many followers of Jesus can say the same thing, and truthfully.
As to the rest of your ‘refutation’ to my arguments, it really looks a lot like you saying, “No! I’m right and you’re wrong.” That’s just not an ‘argument’ I’m prepared to address. It very well may BE that you’re right and I’m wrong, but simply saying it doesn’t make for a cogent case in your favor.
For me, the bottom line here is that some of us are Trinitarian and some are not. We all believe what we believe for reasons we see as good. If you are non-Trinitarian, that’s fine. I take no issue with that. If you think there is rank within the Trinity, you’re welcome to your opinion. I disagree, but I don’t have any great desire to “prove you wrong.” One day, God will correct us all–and we will all, I think, be embarrassed as to just how silly our childish ideas of His nature have been. Meanwhile, it’s fun to speculate, and I think, important that we care to explore the nature of God to the best of our abilities–but it is MOST important that we love.
I read back over my comments and I think they’re pretty clear. Still, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt (though I may regret it) and assume you read me incorrectly. I’ll try again–**your **arguments to **me **in the post I was responding to amount to little more than **you **saying, “No, I’m right and you’re wrong.” They aren’t cogent arguments. They are based on no foundation that I can see. You’re free to make such arguments, but I don’t find them convincing.
Please note, I am not saying that you literally said: “No! I’m right and you’re wrong.” I am saying that your arguments appear to rest on no other foundation than that.
The last one I took with my computer–not a very good way to take a pic. Hubby took this one. The one before–well, I’ve lost 100lb+ in the last year since that picture was taken. Very happy about feeling so much better.
Up until discovering this forum, I’ve not been able to find any single human being so willing to discuss such a seemingly sacrosanct subject.
Here, I’ve found a plethora!
I must agree because understanding the nature of The Almighty is not a requisite in the belief that leads to salvation and restoration. I had to chuckle, though, from my own memories because it most certainly does hinder fellowship! Curiosity and inquisitiveness made me a pariah among the adherents that I’m familiar with to that version of Christianity which began with Augustine of Hippo.
However, the nature of Jehovah is important given the tantalizing hints and suggestions from the syntax of scripture (in the original languages) that seem intended to fire the imagination more than explain (like The Shema, Deut 6:4, which establishes the concept that Jehovah is a Unity - which implies plurality).
So, after learning my lesson about asking questions, I took to studying on my own because I figured there had to be an understanding that made sense of the logically contradictory things I was taught I should believe without question. You know: predestination vs. freewill; Jehovah’s foreknowledge vs. the Genesis account; the immediate transferal into heaven of the Saints - and hell for the sinners, vs. the resurrection and evaluation (judgement) of all the dead; the place of Israel in God’s plan of redemption vs. the Gentile’s inclusion in the promises made to them, through his or her faith; and, of course, the purpose and necessity of the influence of Holy Spirit in the life of a Believer, specifically, whether one can, “loose,” salvation.
My search for an answer to these conundrums was found in the liberating clarification of the logic that followed my embracing the understanding that Y’shua Ha Mashiach is more than capable of redeeming all of humanity. Nothing less should be expected of the Divine Human Being which He became just for that purpose; that is to say He will not fail in His mission and will receive a great reward for all He suffered.
I came to perceive that reward to be all of the saints that will be resurrected from the eon that began with His advent, which includes those resurrected after His departure to Sheoul, and, after that, the resurrected ones who were willing to be taught, through being sensitive to Holy Spirit, to live good lives of, “right-ness,” and joy and humility among human beings that are largely of, “wrong-ness,” anger and un-empathetic recalcitrance, such as I once was, despite walking the aisle and signing the 3x5 card - several times.
I’ve learned much since then, but I knew I could understand more if only I could discuss ideas with those of Christian faith who hold conclusions that differ from mine.
So, there was delight in perceiving that there are those here who had drawn conclusions similar to my own, and that they discussed their conclusions with those who held differing conclusions.
Wow. This sounds like something I might type!
I asked myself a question once: “How can I claim to be spiritual if I don’t know what spirit is? I know what Paul meant when he wrote of, “the flesh” - he meant the soulish me, driven to (often impulsive) action from the physical needs of my body and the desires in my soul, as well as from that sense of violation I feel from that strange concept we call, ‘fairness’ – but, just what is spirit? ‘God is (a) Spirit,’ so if I’m going to say I’m a spiritual man, shouldn’t I know what spirit is?”
Then I read this (and *alllll *that followed):
Indeed, why would I want to read the Bible literally, given the contradiction I perceived? My answer, “Because I wanted to!” Just like I’m sure that, “Ol’ Kaa,” (Gnostic Bishop) wants to read the Bible figuratively for the very logical conclusions about Jehovah that he’s drawn from the language in the familiar Augustinian-influenced version of the Bible we call, “The King James Version;” conclusions that have led him to deep feelings of anger toward Jehovah and toward what seem to him to be his hypocritical followers. He has my empathy (but not my sympathy. He is, after all responsible, even if just to himself, for his words and actions, and he gnosis it) because I, too, came to perceive the god of this translation of The Words as a filicidal and megalomaniacal entity, worthy of scorn from the human beings that he created for damnation, apparently because this god “fore-knew” they just weren’t going to worship him regardless of how much he loved them.
I came to discover that I did not find it enjoyable to contemplate my salvation leading to an eternity with this god as my father-in-law, his son’s bride: it made me hate believing that I was among, “the elect.” I could fear heaven more than hell.
However, given the many other things I read, I did not want to believe that this god, was, indeed, the God of the universe. So I went a-searching for some reason why the Bible seemed so contradictory. Of course, I found it when I uncovered the translational sleight-of-hand that produced the first Latin editions which considerably influenced Christian history, as well as our understanding of Jehovah’s plan to annul the work of the Adversary, right on into influencing me in this present day.
Therefore, I perceive that we are all influenced by Augustinianism, one way or another, including our understanding of the plurality of Jehovah. It took considerable effort in me to identify it, and even more effort to overcome it, where appropriate.
Why would I even want to do this?
Because I want to be good! And I’ve come to understand that what I believe about Jehovah - from the nature of His plural essence to Our own, raison d’être - has everything to do with my ability to be a good human being, good at being human, the way I was created to be.
I say, “Well said!” It is good to read that, all over our planet, there are people who understand that what they believe about God is important to how they interact with their fellow human beings. For, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart is bringing forth that which is good, and the wicked man out of the wicked treasure of his heart is bringing forth that which is wicked, for out of the superabundance of the heart his mouth is speaking." (Luke 6:45 CLV)
“So,” I asked myself, “What is the heart?”
Be good! After all, it’s what we were created to be!
Thank you for the reply!
I could wish that my more Augustinian-minded brothers and sisters felt the same way. Funny, but I noticed that I am a lot more accepting of differences in doctrinal thought than I ever was when I was, “defending,” Augustinianism in my heart-of-thoughts. Defending, I say, because that is always what I felt I was doing, and that I was doing it nobly against the naysayers, because I felt that curious thing called, “righteous anger,” when “they” said something I perceived as insulting to my religion. Now, for embracing the concept that Jehovah will redeem all mankind, just as He said He wanted to do, I feel empathy for my fellow Believers who act the same way I used to. Additionally, I can imagine that they don’t feel any better within themselves for that righteous anger than I did.
So, an Augustinian and a Universalist were riding alongside each other one day, arguing over their beliefs.
“Do you mean to tell me,” said the Augustinian, “that you believe I could knock you off your horse, right now, beat you to death and steal everything you have and still go to heaven?”
“No,” said the Universalist, “what I believe is that if you believed like me you wouldn’t even think of knocking me off my horse!”
Well, I thought it was funny. I wonder what Randy would say…
Yea. I like that; very cool. Thank you for the reply - and for all your many other replies.
I’ll tell you that I voted in the minority, “No, not really,” because of the powerful argument for a seemingly inherent trichotomy to the nature of the Universe, an idea well explored in Nathan R. Woods The Trinity in the Universe. Beyond that, I’ve concluded from scripture much that you’ve presented in this topic and it was very refreshing to read something that I might write if I had your command of Greek!
Still, I’ve done pretty good for myself with Concordances, Lexicons, Parallel Editions, Interlinears, search tools and… Holy Spirit!
Be blessed, you two, and keep on being good!
Apparently I was writing a reply to Cindy and Paidion when you posted.
Since you asked, what I currently hold as truth in my heart is that Jehovah is both The Father and The Son and that they have always been inexplicably intertwined as a Unity. Spirit would, therefore, be the embodiment of their combined sentience and the essence of their combined personality: Jehovah breathed of His Spirit into the first human and The Awdam became sentient; a Living Soul, quite unique from the other living souls He created all the other animate creatures to be.
In other words, Jehovah split the essence of Himself into what was to become two types of human beings that He called Male and Female.
This idea came partly from my own study of scripture, partly from the understanding of scripture introduced to me through Michael S. Heiser’s writings about the The Divine Council and partly when I realized that whatever Y’shua was before his immaculate conception, He can now no longer be - He cannot go back - but is, instead, for now and forevermore, a Divine Human Being - the only Divine Human Being; for, at the behest of His Father, The Son became the only sex-begotten Son of The Father and a human woman that He might enter our existence for the purpose of identifying with human existence that He might become a capable High Priest on our behalf, more than able to redeem all of mankind, beginning with those of faith, through His sacrifice, and more than worthy to receive a great reward for such a great sacrifice.
At this juncture of human and Divine history, because of the radical change made to the Unity that existed before this historically new Unity became possible, Holy Spirit, The Spirit of Jesus, is able, only now, to enter human beings through faith and “re-sire” them to become virtuous human beings, that is human beings who, knowing of the difference between right and wrong, desire mightily to do what is right with respect to God, themselves and their fellow human beings. Thus, I perceive from the Genesis account that this is what Jehovah intended for us to all be, from the beginning.
John 3:3-9 CLV. Jesus answered and said to him, “Verily, verily, I am saying to you, If anyone should not be begotten anew, he can not perceive the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus is saying to him, “How can a man, being a veteran, be begotten? He can not be entering into the womb of his mother a second time and be begotten!”
Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I am saying to you, If anyone should not be begotten of water (the first birth, our physical birth) and of spirit, he can not be entering into the kingdom of God. That which is begotten by the flesh is flesh, and that which is begotten by the spirit is spirit. You should not be marveling that I said to you, ‘You must be begotten anew.’”
I John 3:19 CLV “Everyone who is begotten of God is not doing sin, for His seed is remaining in him, and he can not be sinning, for he is begotten of God.”
2 Peter 3:3-4 CLV “So has all of His divine power, that tends to life and devoutness, been presented to us through the recognition of Him Who calls us to His own glory and virtue; through which have been presented to us the precious and greatest promises, that through these you may become participants of the divine nature, fleeing from the corruption which is in the world by lust.”
So, qaz, if this belief makes me Trinitarian, so be it, I am Trinitarian. If not then whatever it makes me, I accept it and I sincerely thank you for asking.
It is after all what you were created to be!
He was not officially joined to the Trinity till 380 CE. and even then, that belief or policy had to be implemented by force.
Originally Posted by animefan48
Well, the reality is most Christians do buy into the trinity doctrine because of persecution of the early Gnostics and non-Trinitarians, and the religious councils were dissenters were forced to agree to a Trinitarian theology. Many Unitarian and Universalist theologies argue that when Jesus said he was the way, he meant that he was an example of how to live to be united/reunited with God. As for the name, God does give other names for himself including the Alpha and Omega, as well as some believe a name that should not be written (or even spoken I believe). Honestly, I think using the name I Am That I Am would just be confusing and convoluted, seriously. I seriously do not believe that it is a continuation of Gnostic/mystical/Unitarian suppression. Even the Gnostic and mystical traditions within Islam and Christianity do not tend to use that name, and among the 99 Names of Allah, I did not find that one. Also, many Rastafarians believe that the Holy Spirit lives in humans and will sometimes say I and I instead of we, yet they don’t seem to use the name I Am for God/Jah either, so I really don’t think it can be related to suppressing mystical and Gnostic interpretations. I think that originally oppressing those ideas and decreeing them heretical are quite enough, the early Church did such a good job that after the split many Protestant groups continued to condemn mystical and later Gnostic sects and theologies.
Yup, the bishops voted and it was settled for all time!!1 (Some say the preliminary votes were 150 something to 140 something in favor of the trinity)
But then Constantine stepped in: After a prolonged and inconclusive debate, the impatient Constantine intervened to force an end to the conflict by demanding the adoption of the creed. The vote was taken under threat of exile for any who did not support the decision favored by Constantine. (And later, they fully endorsed the trinity idea when it all happened again at the council of Constantinople in AD 381, where only Trinitarians were invited to attend. Surprise! They also managed to carry a vote in favor of the Trinity.)
Even a Trinitarian scholar admits the Earliest & Original beliefs were NOT Trinitarian!
The trinity formulation is a later corruption away from the earliest & original beliefs!
“It must be admitted by everyone who has the rudiments of an historical sense that the doctrine of the Trinity, as a doctrine, formed no part of the original message. St Paul knew it not, and would have been unable to understand the meaning of the terms used in the theological formula on which the Church ultimately agreed”.
Dr. W R Matthews, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, “God in Christian Thought and Experience”, p.180
“In order to understand the doctrine of the Trinity it is necessary to understand that the doctrine is a development, and why it developed. … It is a waste of time to attempt to read Trinitarian doctrine directly off the pages of the New Testament”.
R Hanson: "Reasonable Belief, A survey of the Christian Faith, p.171-173, 1980
The doctrine of the Trinity is not taught in the Old Testament.
New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. XIV, p. 306.
“The formulation `One God in three Persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century… Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective”
New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. 14, p. 299.
“The formulation `One God in three Persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century… Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective” (New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. 14, p. 299).
“Fourth-century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary a deviation from this teaching” (The Encyclopedia Americana, p. 1956, p. 2941).
Was Jesus God to Paul and other early Christians? No. . . . .
(Source: How the Bible became the Bible by Donald L. O’Dell - ISBN 0-7414-2993-4 Published by INFINITY Publishing.com)
If God is love, why is it that in scriptures he is shown as having so much hate in his heart by killing instead of curing those he thinks deficient?
In the story of King David, God is shown as torturing David’s baby for 7 days before finally killing it. In the story of the Exodus, God is seen as killing the first born of Egypt instead of killing the parents who were the guilty ones, after hardening the hearts of the parents, just to show his power.
Is punishing the innocent instead of the guilty good justice in your view?
I’m okay with you voicing your opinion, GB. Your post to me was fine (the first of the three above)–perfectly acceptable. Your next two posts were unnecessarily provocative. This is your second warning. The third warning will get you a temporary ban. People are happy to allow you a voice. They do not enjoy reading your attempts at flame baiting.
After reading the first post, I fully intended to dialogue with you, but having read the second and third posts, I’m not going to bother. You’re a big boy/girl–you know what you’re doing. If you don’t, then you’re too immature to engage in discussion here in any case. We have a custom of three strikes. If we didn’t, you’d already be out. Frankly, since you’ve already experienced one temp-ban I’m not even sure I need give you three strikes. Still, here you go. You have one more chance.