The Trinity

Here’s my opinion of the Trinity:

I don’t have one.  🙂   Are God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost separate beings?  Are they the same?  Well, it beats me!  I don’t know.  I think that “proof” can be found to support either side.

But really… what does it matter?  How does it affect me, in my life?  It doesn’t change that I should love God above all others, and love my neighbor as myself.  It doesn’t change that when someone asks me for money on the side of the road that I’ll give it to them if I have some.  It doesn’t change that I’ll go to work every day, cook dinner at night, go to church on Sunday, not know the answers to Jeopardy…

So, I don’t know how it all works.  As one of the partners at my firm would say, ‘That’s not my monkey.’  I’ve committed myself to following Jesus.  And I think that I can do that without having all the answers.  And perhaps do it better.

… here’s hoping, anyway.  Leaving the LDS Church has left me with a lot of loose threads, going from having all of this ‘knowledge’ to realizing that I don’t know all that much at all…

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17 responses to “The Trinity

  1. amen to that

    i agree with you (although i believe there are three in one) i dont think God cares about that as much as He cares if we follow Him. Yes we have to believe that Jesus is God, but that doesnt mean we have to understand the trinity in the way the catholic church does.

    with that said, i do think it can be shakey ground to think Jesus is a separate god, because then the Scriptures arent right about God being the only God. anyway, just my opinion, not infallible truth.

    shalom
    peter

  2. i think it is useful knowledge to equip yourself with when you share with people as that may be one of the questions that pre-believers may have. they’ll usually say if you say there is only one True God, why is there the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    as God is love, love is action yet love also has to be relational. if God is love, God has to be more than 1 being, yet 1 in essence 🙂 and Scriptures clearly has examples to show that ours is a Truine God.

  3. Katy – I think your willingness to believe “without having all the answers” is a great example of “faith like a child.” There is something to be said for just trusting.

    Your observation that there is proof on either side is also great. A lot of people talk about how “Trinity” isn’t a term that appears in Scripture–and this is true. In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) we read “God is one.” End of sentence. The New Testament reveals more, turning the period at the end of the sentence into a semi-colon; that while God is one being, He is also has a triune essence.

    So, that brings us to your question–does it matter? It is easy to say “nope” and move on. But I think there may be something there. One of the things we learn about God the Father is that His Holiness makes Him unapproachable by creatures that lack the total holiness of God (men cannot go into His presence, angels cover their eyes with their wings so they don’t look upon Him). Yet we also learn He longs to be with His creation–this is the tension of the Hebrew Bible. It took loads of sacrifices and laws to allow man to simply be in relationship with the Father.

    Enter the Son. His blood, the ultimate sacrifice, makes it possible for us as men to come into relationship with the Father. No one has direct access to the Father. It is through the blood of the Son that we come into relationship with Him.

    While Jesus was on earth, He said that His Spirit, that is, the Spirit of God, would soon come into the lives of men (after Christ had left earth). This was HUGE because the Spirit only invested Himself into men on several occasions in the Hebrew Bible–so all men (who believed) was an amazing change. It is the power of the Spirit that followers today live by, and are able to be lead to the Son to gain access to the Father.

    So, I guess the big application of the Trinity is salvation. That God desires so much for us to be with Him in community He is willing to provide a way that we could not provide on our own.

    Just some thoughts… hope they lead to great things on your journey!

  4. The trinity is a subject of faith, and that’s about all we need. However, God’s demand of us do n ot stop here. Knowledge will pass away, but His love will never. So now that we have Love, are we sitting tired and doing nothing? Jesus said: Love thy neighbour as thyself. I am trying to do this in my life time before its too late.

    As a Singaporean, we try to help the Indonesian not as a country for the governments are basically at war under the cover of peace. We wanted to start a gold mining operation in Solok Selatan to feed the poor and needy, but was stop by greedy investors. We want to show God’s love rather than talk about his love. We want to show them what God’s love is rather then give them the knowledge of who God is. Faith had brought us thus far, the rest is up to God.

    In short, what I am trying to say is: To practise God’s Love is more important than knowing God.

  5. Hello everyone,
    I guess I will be the only one of providing an argument against what we have been blindly discussing. I agree with all that have said we need to be humble and submissive and understanding and childlike, but not lost. Now I have provided arguments the counter the trinity. I think that there are many supporting sides, but during my time of study I have never found a logical proof that proves the existence of the trinity, and trust me I have looked -the only ones I have found are circular and full of speculations that ignore the counter evidence.
    1. The Son can do nothing by himself
    2. He can only do what he has seen the father do.
    3. Therefore, if the son is the father, then the son must do what he has already done.
    4. An event that is the result of a cause that has not occurred cannot exist.
    5. Therefore, Son as the father and the father as the son cannot exist as one entity.
    1. The Father loves the Son, and then the father loves himself?
    2. If that is true, then the son, the father also love the spirit
    3. If the antecedent is true then God loves himself.
    4. Self love is proportional to pride and self-admiration.
    5. Therefore, God is not all good.

    And my favorite
    1.the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son
    2. The previous commits an obvious contradiction
    3. All logical contradictions are false (definition)
    4. “A kingdom divided against itself can not stand”
    5. Thus, God cannot exist according to (1-4)
    God said that he is truth, knock and it shall be opened, look and ye shall find…God must explain the truths that we need to truly understand his gospel and love, thus if we are left in confusion we cannot do so, (and the argument of faith testing cant apply here because God will not lead somebody down a road to their destruction if he is all-good and all-loving)
    Thus, because of the contradictions we could assume that the trinity is not possible. The following proves that the trinity cannot be constant with the grace, and love of God.
    1. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then God would be able to use his omniscient and omnipotent abilities to achieve a state of absolute perfection. (Premise)
    2. If God is absolutely perfect, then he must be omni-benevolent. (Premise)
    3. If God is Omni-benevolent, then confusions and deceptions cannot occur.(premise)
    4. If God cannot cause deception, then situations of conflict, fallacy, contradiction and misinterpretations cannot occur according to his truths. (Premise)
    5. Thus, if God is omnipotent, omniscient and omni-benevolent, then only truths that lack conflict, fallacy, contradiction and misinterpretations are truth (1-4)
    6. The trinity is a supposed truth that exhibits conflict, fallacy, contradiction and misinterpretations. (Premise)
    7. Thus, the trinity cannot be true. (4,5)
    Thank you,
    John

  6. john

    trying to explain the trinity in terms of human logic is impossible. for we cant understand such concepts. i am not saying that we shouldnt use logic and be rational about it. but i am saying that there are some things that may be true regardless of not making sense.

    for example, pascal talks a lot about the inability for us to comprehend either the exceptionally small or large. i think this relates well to what we can know. can we truly understand infinity? can we truly understand a limit? these concepts may be true, but the human mind cant completely understand them. we can understand the theory of infinity, but we can never observe it because of our own limitations.

    my point is that we cant say that because something isnt fully explanable it isnt true. i agree from a perspective of reason, we can never come to prove the trinity. but can you really prove anything with reason alone? most philosophers (at least postmodern) would say you cant. so we need something beside reason. maybe revelation? as in God revealing Himself through Scriptures. although the Bible doesnt explicitly say there is a trinity, it becomes quite clear that there is some sort of trinity.

    peter

  7. Peter,
    Good point!
    I must say it is difficult to “prove” or “disprove,” but most philosophers would agree, especially in terms of God, that you can have validity which leads to make one believe that the argument that provides more validity would make that concept more true/successful. The idea of the trinity dose not. It is more logical and just as supported in the holy bible that the son, father, and Holy Spirit are each different individuals.
    Humans are what Socrates and Aristotle called “logical creatures” and “rational animals.” Men do have the blessing, which is from God, to reason. If we can reason then God has given us that for our ability to choose good from evil, and in association with the spirit we are able to find the path of all truth.
    Now, if something like the trinity is “so hard to understand” and so under supported… both by logic and biblical views, Then how is it possible that God could have instituted such a doctrine knowing that we think by terms of rationality…. or even that we are limited in our understanding. Now, if we try to say “god is mystical” we cant because even thought his nature and his secrets are, the teachings of Christ about “knock and it shall be opened” “look and ye shall find” conclude that men have the ability — especially when it involves SALVATION– to search out truth, thus mysticism is not valid when we speak of doctrines that seem to be conflicting. Thus, it becomes quite clear we have reason on both terms of logic, human understanding, and God’s truth, to wonder if the trinity is false.

  8. Sounds good to me, katyjane. I have to say, I don’t understand how such debate is finding it’s way onto your threads.

    I feel similar to you. I sort of have a concept of the trinity, and how I think it works, but it is a very divine, perfect concept, and I’m an imperfect human with limited knowledge, and the concept of the nature of God is most likely to big for me to grasp. It’s an awesome thing to think about.

    God bless, katy.

  9. John,
    First numbered set:
    I’m again not going to spend the time arguing with your trinity posts, because I think you make many assumptions from the start. I’ll instead ask why you think loving yourself is a form of pride?

    The Father, Son, and Spirit are seperate, yet one at the same time. You could think of it like a flock or something if that helps you, although that’s not how I see it.

    I already responded to your other numbered sets elsewhere.

    Your last post:
    ” Men do have the blessing, which is from God, to reason” – yup, I agre, and God blessed us with that. That doesn’t mean God gives us the ability to understand everything, that doesn’t mean he unviels all mysteries.

  10. Ok Bryan,
    You still seem to be missing the point, and moreover, I agreed with you on the condition that you accept the as separate, yet work as a team or flock of course, but they would have to be distinct and separate. The father as God, Christ as the savior, the spirit as the comforter.
    And I am not going to go into a linguistic, and convention-logic argument about what self-love means. Look up the meaning of self-love…it is narcissism. That is why they can be completely separate beings and love one another, and that causes no logical problem.
    Also, I have clarified this idea about Logic given to men, the savior in mark 13:11 He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.( and…)2 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Thus, there exist things that need attention and ponder, and can be discovered. God desires this. Yet, there are things that pertain to God that are not going to affect our salvation, and those things are not required to be discovered directly, yet confusion that leads one away form the central beliefs of God (i.e. the trinity) would, and need to be addressed.
    Thank you
    John

  11. Bryan,
    Yes I got it right, if you take it literally, Christ was talking to his followers, the believers and more importantly to his apostles. Which are men, thus truth…and that would entail all truth as Christ put it, is available when in direct correlation to our need for truth.
    John

  12. I meant, did you get the verse right, because when I looked it up it was completely different, though. I found it after a quick search, though…..Matthew 13:11

  13. Steven,
    While I agree that in the long term, it could be an important concept, I think that I am able to believe without having the answer. I believe the Jesus is the author of my salvation… and to me it is irrelevant as to how the Godhead is made up. 🙂

    John,
    You said, “I guess I will be the only one of providing an argument against what we have been blindly discussing. I agree with all that have said we need to be humble and submissive and understanding and childlike, but not lost.”
    First of all, I don’t think there needs to be any argument at all, nor do I think that there was any blind discussion. Also, I do not feel lost. That was what I was saying–that I don’t need to understand exactly how everything works and fits together to be saved, to feel Jesus’s presence in my life, or to draw closer to Him. So, in what way am I lost?

    I agree with Peter–we shouldn’t try to narrow God down to human logic. As a limitless being, I think He is beyond our understanding. That’s not to say that I don’t think that religion should make sense or be reasonable… I certainly do. But I don’t know that logical proofs such as you have described really will increase my faith. Maybe it will yours, and if so, then all the more power to you! But my whole spiritual journey has been following a feeling. I joined the LDS Church 6 years ago because I received an answer to a prayer that I should get baptized. I left the LDS Church this year because the church no longer felt right or produced those spiritual feelings for me. A Mormon might say that is my fault or my trial, but I was able to get spiritual promptings elsewhere, and I am currently working to follow my spiritual journey, and I am eager to see where it leads.

    Also, and perhaps this is me reading what you’re writing with a different inflection, but I feel like you’re a little bit caustic; especially so in your posts to Bryan. I don’t think that should continue; I don’t want it on my blog.

    Bryan,
    I have enjoyed your comments on my blog thus far, and hope you will return.

  14. I think the problem with most of John’s ogic is that it assumes that father, son, and holy spirit are either one individual or three individuals the same way that a human is one individual or three humans are three individuals.

    In any case, he’s definitely imposing a lot of human ideas and constraints on somthing that is certainly not subject to human limitation. This is God we’re talking about, after all.

    Who says logic even has to apply to God?

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