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Discussion Starter #1
I'm being delicate in my wording here as my intent is NOT to provoke, but to ask questions in order to learn.
I still do not fully undertand the Holy Trinity.
Thanks to the responses I've gotten here on the Trinity issue I look at the Holy Trinity differently now than I did a mere few weeks ago.
As I have explained to everyone I'm an amature student of Christian History to the exclusion of BIBLE STUDY.
This seems now to me NOT to be a healthy situation to put myself into.
I may know a bit about the historical and political aspects of Christianity but I fear I've missed the boat, so to speak, on the real meaning of Christianity.
So I've begun to read up on Trinity Doctrine and I'm trying to understand it better.
I came across something interesting to me.
Perhaps I could ask for help from Bible Students that I KNOW understand scriptures better than I.
I recently read an interesting take on the position of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit(Ghost).
One group explains that God and the Holy Spirit are indeed one in the same.
They cannot be separated.
The article went on to explain that the Holy Spirit and God are each part of the other making up "god".
It further explained that the Holy Spirit is really the Father in Heaven of Jesus since the Holy Spirit was the means that made Mary pregnant with Jesus.
But if God and the Holy Spirit are inseperable does it not make sense that God and the Holy Spirit are the Father of the Jesus in the flesh?
This article really, really has me confused.
Now keep in mind I'm challenging nothing and no one, merely asking for some help understanding what is a confusing topic to me.
Perhaps I spend to much time on the intellectual aspects of Science and History and not enough on the Bible and it's message?
I am teachable and have an open mind , desire and respect your views.
I think perhaps God is finding ways to make me more humble.
At least I think so and somehow it feels 'right' to me.
You help, whatever your perspective is, will be much appreciated.
Jeager.
 

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My perspective is not one of being defined by God but of man in his attempt to understand who Christ Jesus is and who The Holy Spirit is.
It began innocently enough, with others trying to define or understand many of the philosophical views of Christ and the Holy spirit.
Some would have christ as an angle or at least subservient to God. This did not fulfill any of the scripture or what Christ declared of himself.
It was up to Tertulian to make all the correct correlations of scripture to both Christ and the Holy Spirit-he labeled it the Holy Trinity. not three gods as some promoted in error but One God in three persons.
This is not an understandable thing for man, however, scripture plainly paints this picture.
This is hardly even a thumbnail of the study but there is much written to give far more information than can be presented on this site.
Blessings
 

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Hi Jaeger,

I have a couple of illustrations that I have used in the past. They are not perfect, I do not believe that I am capable of making an illustration of the Trinity that is perfect. Here they are:

One has three 12 ounce water glasses filled to the brim with water and one empty 12 ounce glass. Of the filled gasses one represents the Father, the next one represents the Son, the next one represents the Holy Spirit.

Then one takes all three of the full glasses and empties them into the empty glass and they all fit, leaving the one full 12 ounce glass to represent God. ie three.in one

Second illustration

One has a piece of rope made of three cords it is one piece of rope but yet three cords at the same time. One major difference between the rope example and the Trinity is that each individual person of the Trinity is equal to the whole.

For what it's worth
Mike
 

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My understanding, imperfect as it is :

There is one God, yet God is plural :

From John 1, in the beginning the Word was with God, the Word was God,
and all things done were done thru the Word. The Word became flesh and dwell among us as Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was crucified, died, and was resurrected as the first-born Son of God. He is the first of many brethren. Word of God becomes Jesus. God becomes God the Father.

God is separate Beings
Gen. 1 seems to back this up where it mentions God says "Let Us make man in Our image...". Incidentally the Hebrew work for God here is plural. This indicates more than one God Being and that They are separate Beings, as they carry on a conversation with each other.
Jesus prays to God the Father and states that He came to do the works of the Father. This also indicates more than one God Being and that They are separate.

Thru-out the Old Testament, it describes God as "One". Jesus Christ Himself said if you have seen Me you have seen the Father. These scriptures and others imply that God Beings at the very least are in perfect harmony with one another. It may imply more, but my mind cannot at this point grasp more.

Spirit of God = Holy Spirit
The Spirit of God mentioned in the Old Testament appears to be the same as the Holy Spirit mentioned in the New Testament.

Holy Spirit does not appear to be a separate Being in the way that the
Father and the Son are. Notice that the General Epistles contain numerous greetings from the Father and the Son, but not the Holy Spirit. This seems to indicate that the Father and the Son are separate Beings capable of sending greetings but the Holy Spirit is not. At present I understand the Holy Spirit to be the essence or substance of God and when we receive the Holy Spirit at baptism it is as if God tears off a little chunk of Himself and give it to us. However this seems to be imperfect.
I know that the Holy Spirit exists and that it is from God and will lead us to the things of God, but cannot really explain it satisfactorily.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
scotjute:
Of course you can't understand it or explain it (trinity). I would not expect you to.
This debate has ragged for close to 2000 years amongst serious and educated theologians so don't expect too much of ordinary men.
Part of the confusion is the inability of humans to understand that which is not human.
We anthropmorphize almost everything.
We give human qualities to animals, star constellations, ships of the sea, airplanes, our pet dogs and cats, even our cars.
We are not dealing with human creatures when speaking of the 'devine' or the 'spirit world' , much of which we are only beginning to understand.
I feel we used to know more of the eathereal than we do now but that's way off topic. Or is it?
Here's a quote from a scholar named Irenaeus, born about 120 CE. who laid the foundation for what we call the 'bible'.
He helped usher a "new age of canonical standardization".
What? Never heard of him?
Well, you see, that's the problem now isn't it.
If you don't know the history of what we call christianity you really cannot understand the message in the Bible.
Irenaeus wrote against heresy and this is a quote from his work.
"The church, though disposed through out the whole world, even to the ends of th earth, has received from the apostles and thier desciples this faith:
It believes in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth and the sea and all things that are in them; and in one Christ, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, the advents, the birth from a virgin, the passion, the resurrection from the dead, the ascention into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ our Lord.
( Against Heresies 1.10.1)
 

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Carefull with those heresies Jeager!
Speaking truth is dangerous.
Remember what happened to Michael Servetus.

Elwood
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Elwood said:
Carefull with those heresies Jeager!
Speaking truth is dangerous.
Remember what happened to Michael Servetus.

Elwood
:-D Yup. Yer right!
I've been barbequed for telling the truth. Actually I merely report what I've learned, nothing more really.
I was not a popular police officer, especially when I made Chief of Detectives and told the TRUTH about corrupt judges and politicians. :twisted:

It's difficut to sweep aside 2000 years of bad information that becomes tradition then a way of life.
keeping an open mind about what one holds dearst is very hard for any mortal to do.
I can't wait till scotjute comes up with his historical proof the Jews are realted the the Brits.
And some people think I'M out there!?
 

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Jaeger
You have never been B-B-Q'd for telling the truth. You have been called to the bar for telling everyone who would listen that you have the only truth and anyone who disagrees is not very smart.
It would be interesting if you would apply the rules of spiritual warfare as readily to yourself as you would require of others.
The question has not raged for 2000 years to those with understanding of the subject, only to those who would disagree with the conclusions.
Blessings
 

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Williamlayton,
Many good and wise people have disagreed with the Nicene and Athanasian creeds in the last 2000 years. I am sure that YOU believe your convictions are true but, when you assert that "those with understanding of the subject" agree with your conclusions you have commited the very same error you accused Jeager of in the first paragraph. I believe you told Jeager he was called on the carpet for saying "you have the only truth and anyone who disagrees is not very smart". If "those with understanding of the subject" agree with you do those without understanding disagree with you? Evolutionists use this same argument to dismiss creationists. Lets disagree without losing our respect for one another.

Elwood
 

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The Church settled the question. I stand in agreement with the Church on this issue wheather it be RC or Reformed.
That was the settling I was speaking of. You are certainly correct that those outside, or even those within, can disagree--it will not change the stance of the Church and will not change the scripture which defends the words of Christ.
Blessings
 

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Discussion Starter #11
williamlayton said:
The Church settled the question. I stand in agreement with the Church on this issue wheather it be RC or Reformed.
That was the settling I was speaking of. You are certainly correct that those outside, or even those within, can disagree--it will not change the stance of the Church and will not change the scripture which defends the words of Christ.
Blessings
Elwood is quite correct in that you commit the same transgressions you accuse me of comminting.
If I am guilty of committing error then correct in a Christian manner without committing the same offense please.
Lemme see ,now????? I do think on SEVERAL occasions I have openly said "I COULD BE WRONG", and " If I've offended anyone I've apologized immediately".

Now to the subject.
What "church" settled what question? The Trinity?
What Church and when? A true Church or one made up of men guided by politics of the day?
Show me. That's your commission as a Christian. Read the book, it tells you so.
And don't gimme any of that casting "pearls before swine" crap. Different situation here.
I'm a confessed Christian ASKING for truth and direction.
Not your opinions, but real direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
William:
"The question has not raged for 2000 years to those with understanding of the subject, only to those who would disagree with the conclusions."

William, read what you just wrote please.
I've never seen a more simplistic example of circular thinking.
Of course there is no debate when only those that agree gather together.
If you go to the Democratic National Convention it's a pretty good bet your gonna find DEMOCRATES there that back slap each other and agree with Deomocratic policy and convictions.
:-D :-D :-D

If I carried around a KJV, was raised a Pentacostal, I'd be thumping my chest and raving about the KJV being the ONLY inerrant Word of God, and only Penacostals would be going to heaven. :roll: :roll:
 

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Here's my take:

If the bible described something flowing in a river, then later descriobed it as hard as a rock, and yet elsewhere described it as mist in the morning, but the word "water" never actually appeared in the scriptures, it is reasonable, and not heresy, to use the word "water" as a description. Furthermore, though using three descriptions, water is one thing, not three.

Clearly a simplistic effort on my part, but the best I can do at conveying my ideas right now.
 

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Nope, another idea.
Admittedly, I have not read the whole Bible, but I've read most of it. I've read of Father, Son, and Spirit referred to as separately, and interacting with one another, as individuals, and Ive read of them referred to as one and the same.

In our logic, it has to be one or the other -- individuals, or one being. But with God, all things are possible. He can be three but One. Who are we to limit Him in His existance?
 

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jeager106 said:
... What Church and when? A true Church or one made up of men guided by politics of the day? ...
How do you define 'a true church'?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sir Knight said:
jeager106 said:
... What Church and when? A true Church or one made up of men guided by politics of the day? ...
How do you define 'a true church'?
Indeed! How does one define a "true church"? :roll:
I'd like to know what constitues a 'true Christian' church.
is it the religious dogma? the way a group interpretes the Bible? the 'feeling' one gets from a cathedral?
What, pray tell does define a true church?
 

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The "true church" is not a denomination or group that follows certain "dogma". The Church is the body of believers that have a relationship with God thru the confession of Jesus Christ as Savior. Jesus is the Head of the that Church and the followers of Christ make up the body of the Church.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
RBishop said:
The "true church" is not a denomination or group that follows certain "dogma". The Church is the body of believers that have a relationship with God thru the confession of Jesus Christ as Savior. Jesus is the Head of the that Church and the followers of Christ make up the body of the Church.
As good a definition as any I suppose.
Tell me then, if a Christian does not accept the Holy Trinity is that person a 'member of the 'true church'?
Are the fundos that play with rattlesnakes members of the 'true church'?
How about the followers of David Koresh or Jim Jones?
Jehovah's Witnesses? Mormons?
The KJV fundos that preach white supremecy to the arian nations?
Those that promote the killing of Jews, blacks, latinos?
These preachers and believers claim to be true Christians, believe in the Holy Trinity, are THEY members of the 'true church'?
 

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I don't have the ability to judge anyone's heart, I only know my heart. It isn't my place to judge anyone, that belongs to God. Jesus taught that a "good" tree produces "good" fruit and a "good" spring produces "good" water. Therefore if someone claims to be a member of the "true" Church their lifestyle will be in line with Jesus' teachings. They are recorded in the four Gospels. If people who follow after "cult" leaders are following them as their Savior then, no they aren't part of the "true" Church. Anyone who was promoting murder or other crimes of hate, I would not consider them to be part of the "true" Church. The Bible teaches us the "fruits of the Spirit". Members of the "true" Church should have these "fruits" evident in their lives.

Jaeger, once again you seem to dwell on the negative instead of the positive. Why not examine "yourself"? Are your part of Jesus' church? Is He the "Head" of your life? Why not concentrate on your relationship with Him and your place in the Body of His Church? Why not associate yourself with a group of believers that follow Jesus' teachings and His
Word? Why dwell on the negative? Why don't you
 

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The Trinity is a difficult idea to grasp. God Himself has said that "My ways are are higher than your ways and My thoughts are higher than your thoughts" and Paul said that right now "We see as if in a mirror but one day will see clearly". Perhaps to find the Trinity more acceptable as truth, it needs to be broken down into smaller bites. I am by no means an authority but will be happy to try and do so, if you truly desire.

For me to believe in the Trinity, I need the following:

1. Does the Bible teach that there is only one single God.
2. Does the Bible teach that the Father is a recognizable (for lack of a better word) person and that He is God.
3. Does the Bible teach that Jesus the Son is a recognizable person and that He is God.
4. Does the Bible teach that the Holy Spirit is a recognizable person and that He is God.

In questions 2 through 4, the recognizable person clause can be a bit of a sticker. For me, I am defining recognizable person as an indivual capable of thought, emotion and action under His own volition. That is important to determine because it separates out from the potential definition sources of power which although impressive are not cognizant and capable of emotion. For example, look at electricity. You can't see it but you can very clearly feel it's power under the right circumstances. However, electricity is in no way capable of feeling emotions or making decisions and thus cannot qualify as a person (or being) in terms of our definition.

If you answer yes to all 4 of those questions, then it is impossible to not believe in the Trinity because only in a Trinitarian concept of 3 making up 1 is it possible for there to be one single God (sometimes referred to in these kinds of discussions as a Godhead, but I am not particularly a fan of that term) and at the same time, have 3 separate characters that are all identified as God.

Rather than beat a dead horse, why don't you look over the questions, see if you agree that an agreement with those 4 questions would logically result in the belief in a Trinitarian God and then see if you do, indeed, agree that all 4 questions are best answered with a yes. If there are any that you aren't sure of or just simply disagree with, please say so and we will take the time to examine it in depth and see if God's Word does indeed teach that the question ought be answered with a yes or a no.

chaplain robert
 
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