Trinity


The anti-Mormons and the Trinity…Part 1

The purpose of this post, and the next few, is to enlighten and expose the falsehoods perpetrated by the many anti-Mormons that have found new life now that a Mormon is running for President of the United States. But the primary cause for alarm among these anti-Mormons is not Mitt Romney running for President, but the LDS Church’s steady growth through the years. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as viewed by the anti-Mormons, is the new kid on the block, yet the LDS Church has been experiencing constant and steady growth. Since many of the LDS converts come from Evangelical or other Christian backgrounds, the leaders of these denominations not only feel threatened , but they are losing parishioners and with the parishioners, money. That is the real threat to the anti-Mormons. If it was really about converting people to Christ, these anti-Mormons would be called anti-Islams, anti-Jewish, or anti-Hindu. Anti-Mormons have chosen a negative approach to proselytizing and converting others by attacking the beliefs of others. They do not preach what they believe, but what they do not believe.

This brings us to the Trinity. Interestingly, the word “trinity” is found nowhere in the Bible. The doctrine of the Trinity is not found in scripture, but appeared shorty after the Nicene Creed. The following is taken from here, and those who want to learn more about the early church, will find the Nicene Creed quite interesting:

http://www.creeds.net/ancient/Nicene_Intro.htm

NICENE CREED – Historical Note

In the first three centuries, the church found itself in a hostile environment. On the one hand, it grappled with the challenge of relating the language of the gospel, developed in a Hebraic and Jewish-Christian context, to a Graeco-Roman world. On the other hand, it was threatened not only by persecution, but also by ideas that were in conflict with the biblical witness.

In A.D. 312, Constantine won control of the Roman Empire in the battle of Milvian Bridge. Attributing his victory to the intervention of Jesus Christ, he elevated Christianity to favored status in the empire. “One God, one Lord, one faith, one church, one empire, one emperor” became his motto.

The new emperor soon discovered that “one faith and one church” were fractured by theological disputes, especially conflicting understandings of the nature of Christ, long a point of controversy. Arius, a priest of the church in Alexandria, asserted that the divine Christ, the Word through whom all things have their existence, was created by God before the beginning of time. Therefore, the divinity of Christ was similar to the divinity of God, but not of the same essence. Arius was opposed by the bishop, Alexander, together with his associate and successor, Athanasius. They affirmed that the divinity of Christ, the Son, is of the same substance as the divinity of God, the Father. To hold otherwise, they said, was to open the possibility of polytheism, and to imply that knowledge of God in Christ was not final knowledge of God.

To counter a widening rift within the church, Constantine convened a council in Nicaea in A.D. 325. A creed reflecting the position of Alexander and Athanasius was written and signed by a majority of the bishops. Nevertheless, the two parties continued to battle each other. In A.D. 381, a second council met in Constantinople. It adopted a revised and expanded form of the A.D. 325 creed, now known as the Nicene Creed.

The Nicene Creed is the most ecumenical of creeds. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joins with Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and most Protestant churches in affirming it.

It certainly appears that the Trinity concept appeared here, since it cannot be found anywhere in the Bible. Even way back then, the nature of Christ was a controversy.

The anti-Mormons will use predominately the following scriptures to support their concept of the Trinity:

Isaiah 44:6; John 10:30; 1 John 5:7; John 14:5-9

The anti-Mormons adhere literally to these scriptures, but will not accept a literal interpretation of a scripture when it does not fit their needs. And there are a ton of those scriptures that the anti-Mormons won’t even discuss.

For example, John 10:30 says “I and my Father are one”. The anti-Mormons state that this must be taken literally, as one essence. But a problem arises in the same gospel of John 17:11, when the Jesus “part” of God prays to the Father “part” of God. The anti-Mormons want us to actually believe that God actually prays to himself!

Another example. In Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32, Jesus Christ spoke of His coming in glory. He said, “that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Using the anti-Mormon belief in the Trinity and the all – in – one – God theory, then I have to believe that the anti-Mormon God is not a truthful God……being the same God as the Father, Jesus had to know the timing of His second coming. Sorry anti-Mormons, but my God is not a liar and He is not the Father in essence, being, person, substance, or anything else.

The anti-Mormons and the Trinity…Part 2

Yesterday, we learned a little about the Nicene Creed – a creed written by men to try and explain the nature of Christ. This is apparently when the theory of the Trinity developed, for the trinity can be found nowhere in scripture.But wait…there is another creed to once again try to explain the nature of Christ and the Trinity, and this comes from the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod located here:https://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=3357This is what it says: ( The highlights are my own)

Athanasian Creed

Whoever will be saved shall, above all else,
hold the catholic faith.
Which faith, except everyone keeps whole and undefiled,
without doubt he will perish eternally.
And the catholic faith is this,
that we worship one God in three persons
and three persons in one God,
neither confusing the persons
nor dividing the substance.
For there is one person of the Father,
another of the Son,
and another of the Holy Spirit.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one:
the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.
The Father uncreated,
the Son uncreated,
and the Holy Spirit uncreated.
The Father incomprehensible,
the Son incomprehensible,
and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
The Father eternal,
the Son eternal,
and the Holy Spirit eternal.
And yet there are not three eternals
but one eternal.
As there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensibles
but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
So likewise the Father is almighty,
the Son almighty,
and the Holy Spirit almighty.
And yet they are not three almighties
but one almighty.
So the Father is God,
the Son is God,
and the Holy Spirit is God.
And yet there are not three gods;
but one God.
So likewise the Father is Lord,
the Son Lord,
and the Holy Spirit Lord.
And yet they are not three lords
but one Lord.
For as we are compelled by the Christian truth to acknowledge every person by himself
to be both God and Lord,
So we cannot by the catholic faith
say that there are three Gods or three Lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created;
but begotten.
The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son, neither made nor created nor begotten
but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers;
one Son, not three Sons;
one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
And in this trinity none is before or after another;
none is greater or less than another;
But the whole three persons
are coeternal together and coequal,
so that in all things, as is aforesaid,
the Unity in Trinity
and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped..
He, therefore, that will be saved is compelled thus to think of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation
that he also believe faithfully the incarnation
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the right faith is
that we believe and confess
that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
is God and man;
God of the substance of the Father,
begotten before the worlds;
and man of the substance of his mother,
born in the world;
Perfect God and perfect man,
of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
Equal to the Father as touching his Godhead,
and inferior to the Father as touching his manhood;
Who, although he is God and man,
yet he is not two but one Christ.
One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh,
but by taking the manhood into God;.
One altogether,
not by confusion of substance,
but by unity of person.
For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man,
so God and man is one Christ;
Who suffered for our salvation;
descended into hell;
rose again the third day from the dead.
He ascended into heaven;
he sits at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty,
from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead.
At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies
and will give an account of their own works.
And they that have done good will go into life everlasting;
and they that have done evil,
into everlasting fire.
This is the catholic faith which
except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.

Sorry, and I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I get confused just reading that! The one word used in this creed that I find interesting is the word “incomprehensible”. In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, one of the definitions of “incomprehensible” is impossible to comprehend and unintelligible. How can any knowledge be attained from that which is not known? And can anyone “know” something incomprehensible? Now, I feel that is the major difference between the anti-Mormons Jesus and the Mormons Jesus. The Mormons Jesus can be understood and He is very intelligent.

Mormons also believe that man was created literally in God’s image, but the anti-Mormons assert that God is only a spirit, that He can fill the entire universe and sit on the head of a pin. Yet the anti-Mormons have a difficult time explaining what a spirit is. The anti-Mormons like to quote John 4:24 that states that God is a spirit. Again, the anti-Mormons like to take a quote out of text and then adhere to it literally. Ok, let us do just that. If we except that God is just a spirit, then by definition we must exempt Christ from the Trinity because Jesus said in Luke 24:39 “a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”

In Romans 6:9 we read “…Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over Him.” This means that Christ still has His body, (as many people witnessed as He ascended into Heaven), and to say that He has no body is to say that He has died again. For the anti-Mormons to insist that Christ is part of the Trinity in spirit only is a total denial of Christ’s Godhead because Christ has a resurrected body! So, taking this one step further, if Christ is God, then God has a physical body. Period. Mormons believe that Christ was resurrected with His body, and that many of His followers testified that they saw him and that they felt the wounds in His hands and side. Matthew 5:8 says “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.” I wonder if the anti-Mormons take that verse literally. Incomprehensible?…a spirit only?……Trinity in Unity, and Unity in Trinity?…..I think not. Logic alone tells me that this is not my Christ.

The anti-Mormon concept of God was developed a century or more after most of the New Testament was completed. As anyone who studies Christian history will discover, battles and debates over the identity of God lead to creed statements defining God, not to biblical statements defining God.

Finally, if the concept of the Trinity is so important, why is it not found anywhere in the Bible? The Bible does not explain how God exists in three persons and yet is one God. The reason the Bible has never mentioned the Trinity is simple because it is not true. The concept of one God with three persons within the one God can only mean that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are each only 1/3 of that one God (1/3 + 1/3 +1/3 = ONE ). Again, logic tells me that God cannot be one and three at the same time. He cannot be both and be real.

But it is true that to reject the Trinity as a biblical concept by the Mormons is not the equivalent to rejecting the Bible itself. The Mormons love the Bible, and the Mormons love Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. They are two separate beings, and the Spirit has testified to me that this is true. IMHO

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