The Trinity: A Fundamental of the Faith or a Fable?

 

 (Since it may be possible that some could conclude, from the first paragraph below, that I am a heretic… I would appeal to you not to “write me off as a heretic” before reading this entire page and especially the scriptures referenced. Does a heretic wholeheartedly embrace all that scripture states about a subject and reject ideas of men which are contrary to scripture?…OR does a heretic embrace words of man’s wisdom and reject what scripture says?)

 As a child I was always taught and believed in the doctrine of the “Trinity”, i.e. that there is one God who has revealed Himself as “three persons” and that these three are “members” of the Godhead. However this teaching, which was developed by men and formulated in various creeds long after the Bible was completed, is foreign to scripture! The doctrine of the “Trinity”, although considered by most Christians to be a fundamental of orthodoxy, is never stated in the Bible but is rather contradicted by the inspired writings! It is for such reasons that I have had to reject it to embrace scripturally stated doctrine concerning the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 Although I have read many articles and books about the Trinity, none that I have read have defined the word “person”!  Most dictionaries offer a wide variety of definitions of the word “person” but none of them is compatible with the God who is revealed in the Bible!  The scriptures do not teach that God is a “person” (which dictionaries define as “a human being”, “a living human body”, “a character, part or role in a play or story”, “one not entitled to social recognition or respect”, “an individual regarded slightingly, as one of a lower status”, “a body corporate having rights or duties before the law”, or “a mode of being” ) but rather that He is a spirit. The Lord Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman (John 4:24) said, “God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Nor does scripture ever teach that the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit are “members” of anything!

 Thus the doctrine of the Trinity, rather than taking a high view of God as its adherents profess, actually presents a much lower view of Him than the scriptures teach. It fashions God into the image of His mortal creatures who are “persons” and “members”! Rather than taking a lower view of God than Trinitarians do, I maintain that we need to take the scriptural view. Such is a higher, a more accurate and a more God-honouring view than that which Trinitarian teaching has ever suggested!

 Scripture speaks …

– of the Spirit of the Father, (Matthew 10:20) who is the Father of Spirits (Hebrews 12:9)

– of Jesus’ spirit, the Spirit of God’s son or the Spirit of Christ whom God has sent  into our hearts (Luke 23:46, Galatians 4:6 & Romans 8:9) and

– of the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth whom the Lord Jesus, after He departed, sent to abide for ever with his disciples (John 15:26; 16:7-14)

 The most comprehensive single sentence statement about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit which to date I have found in scripture is that recorded by Luke in Luke 1:67-75:  “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

 The shortest single sentence statement about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit which to date I have found in scripture is Ephesians 2:18:  “For through him (Christ Jesus) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

 And, in my opinion, one of the most powerful and practical of such statements is Hebrews 9:14:  “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

 Such statements given by the Lord Jesus, his prophets and apostles in the pure words of God, apart from words additional to His, apart from words which man’s wisdom teaches are…

superior to

more accurate and authoritative than and

far more profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for

   instruction in righteousness than any creedal statements composed of words  which man’s wisdom teaches.

 Like all scriptural doctrines, the doctrine of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…

(1) is stated in the pure words of  God,

(2) is stated apart from words additional to scripture,

(3) is stated in words which the Holy Spirit teaches rather than in words which man’s wisdom teaches,

(4) is taught by the Lord Jesus, His apostles and prophets and

(5) its source is Christ, the truth,  rather than Satan the deceiver; it brings those who embrace it into freedom in Christ rather than into bondage to men who with cunning craftiness lie in wait to deceive. 

 Are you aware of any creed or doctrinal statement that states any Biblical doctrine better than the scriptures do?

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26 comments on “The Trinity: A Fundamental of the Faith or a Fable?

  1. Larry says:

    “Trinity”, i.e. that there is one God who has revealed Himself as “three persons” and that these three are “members” of the Godhead
    Well Ok lets reword this slightly: there is one God who reveals himself 3 ways and these are the Godhead. Better? no “persons” and no “members”
    You have managed to present this without committing yourself to what you think would be better terminology.Which is…well cleaver..
    If we abandon trinity teaching what are the options? I’ll suggest 4. All of which are worse: Modalism – One God manifested in 3 ways (unity without distinction)
    Panentheism – God becomes God via incarnation (equality without order)
    Subordinationism – Father above the Son and Spirit (order without equality)
    Tritheism – Three Gods (distinction without unity)
    A 5th which I’m not sure is not one of the above is the Christ of the JW’s (the Archangel Michael) a created spirit being ?
    The verses you use to support your argument, I really do not find very helpful. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to their true meaning..

    Like

  2. Hi Larry,

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments and questions!

    I would suggest, as I have in the blog post above that rather than “persons” or members” that we use scriptural language and designate the Father, the Son and the Spirit as scripture does and call them “Spirits”! That is what they are. And because we are made in God’s image we are spirits too.

    I simply implore that we reject the “trinitarian” language and words (“persons” and “members”)which are used to designate The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and return to scriptural terminology which honors and is not derogatory of them and uses the language which they chose by which to reveal themselves.

    Larry, the three passages I chose to quote were just a tiny sampling of scriptures which speak of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But these and many others clearly reveal that they are distinct Spirits, which have differing roles and relationships with each other. Thus they are not different “modes” but rather their relationships as Spirits in the Godhead sets a clear pattern for us in our relationships in our families and churches.

    BTW, here is a song that I wrote a few years ago on this very subject…

    UNITY SONG
    (Deut.6:4; Matt.19:5; Col.1:18)

    ONE SPIRIT:The Father,
    The Son and Holy Spirit,
    We worship, we praise you,
    Our Lord ONE GOD is ONE LORD.
    You’re different yet similar,
    You’re all together in ONE GODHEAD,
    Different yet similar,
    You’re all together in ONE.

    A man leaves his parents
    And takes his wife as his partner,
    God joins them together,
    They’re no more twain but ONE FLESH.
    They’re different yet similar,
    They’re joined together in ONE FAMILY
    Different yet similar,
    They’re joined together in ONE.

    We Christians were sinners
    Redeemed by the blood of our Saviour,
    Are members and Christ is
    The Head of the body, THE CHURCH.
    We’re different yet similar,
    We’re joined together in ONE BODY,
    Different yet similar,
    We’re joined together in ONE.

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  3. Larry says:

    Re: the trinity: Bruce, Thanks for the clarification..Guess you agree that it is not a fable. Thought perhaps you was throwing the baby out with the bathwater (I know it’s an old cliche) I now understand your reasoning for not liking the terms persons or members..No problem…though I doubt the trinitarians mean any disrespect.
    This however, immediately sent up a red flag. And because we are made in God’s image we are spirits too. Since Adam was created a living SOUL not a spirit Gen.2:7.. Mans soul consists of his mind, will and emotions. This discussion could go on forever so I’ll not pursue it. It just seems to me that this reasoning COULD,, ( not necessarily must) lead to strange doctrine.
    One could also reason that the rest of mankind was created in the likeness of Adam or Noah might be more accurate. Each reproducing after their own kind.
    .We Christians were sinners
    Redeemed by the blood of our Saviour,
    Are members and Christ is
    The Head of the body, THE CHURCH. AMEN

    Like

    • Hi Larry,

      Just a little further clarification… I DO believe the “trinity” doctrine IS a fable! It is not found in scripture, it assumes that man knows better than God how to express the mind of God in human language! Rather than a “Trinity” of “persons” who are “members” of the Godhead, I rather believe that scripture teaches that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are Spirits in one Godhead.

      I would readily acknowledge that most “Trinitarians” do not intend any disrespect of God, but the enemy who inspires and instigates all false doctrine always intends, by design, to dishonour and derogate the God whom he hates. That is why I believe we should always embrace only scripturally stated doctrines and reject any doctrine which cannot be stated in the very words of scripture.

      Do you know of ANY sound scriptural doctrine which cannot be stated in words of scripture?

      Like

  4. Clyde says:

    It is good that you point out that God is spirit. My dictionary shows that this describes God as wind, or breath. NOT a person!
    The words of scripture tell us the whole story right there.

    Like

    • Hi Clyde,

      Yes, the words of scripture are of utmost importance and their context is just as important. Yes, the word “pneuma” is translated “wind” and breath” but when it is used in reference to God, angels and people it means so much more! Wind and breath may be just the movement of gases! But God and every spirit which He creates (angels, demons, men and women) have consciousness, feelings, emotions and are eternal!

      Like

  5. Clyde says:

    You may say so, but it goes beyond scripture.

    Like

    • Hi Clyde,
      Which idea is it which you think goes beyond scripture?
      -That God, angels and people are spirits? OR
      -That the spirits which I mentioned have consciousness, feelings, emotions? OR
      -That such spirits are eternal?

      I’ll gladly refer you to scriptures which do teach these very things if you doubt any of them.

      Look forward to hearing which of these you doubt.

      Bruce

      Like

  6. Paul F says:

    Hi Bruce, Clyde,

    I think the Trinity and God problem we face is we are trying to fully understand or explain something that is ultimately, in our mindset, unexplainable. Unfortunately our differences of understanding builds walls among us.

    From Scripture we see God manifest as human, fire, wind, something bright enough to cause sunburn, something that causes people to be ‘considered drunk at noon’, etc.
    I don’t see any unhealthy reason for people to reach their own understanding of what God ‘looks’ like, whether in our ‘physical realm’ or in His ‘Spiritual realm’. It isn’t a salvation issue. It’s a theological issue, which is one of the reasons why we have 2500 Christian denominations.

    And, I don’t believe, God cares.

    Over the years, those I’ve known who have experienced a manifest presence of God, describe everything from a golden glow, man of fire, man dressed in white with a glowing face, a bright moving light filling a room, a wind, a heaviness forcing people to the floor, a presence of pure love, etc.

    Those that hear His voice will say they hear God, the Lord’s voice, the voice of the Spirit, the Father, etc.

    The point being, the form of God, which is amoebic in nature, forms as it pleases or as man can understand it.

    The nature of God, is Spirit, is equal, and appears to have either different functions or responsibilities within itself – as Scripturally indicated. Therefore we understand correctly or incorrectly; parts, persons, members, etc.

    The earliest known name for God is Elohiym, which is a plural noun, like our word ‘team’, indicating one entity, multiple ‘parts’.

    The only doctrinal point we need to really stand on, is Christ being both fully man and fully God – the point being sinful man cannot be raised up to the point where he may become sufficient as a redeemer, therefore, the need for God to become a sufficient vessel for our redemption.
    In other words, God satisfied His own wrath by Himself, for our benefit, but ultimately, His defeat of Satan.

    I try to explain the nature of God in simpler terms – it’s like a cup of coffee: water, coffee, milk. Each has a function, but they can’t be readily divided.

    Paul.

    Like

    • Hey Paul,
      Thank God that He is far beyond our ability to fully understand! But thank Him too that He has chosen to reveal Himself to us in so many ways (creation, the scriptures of the prophets, and also in His own Son made flesh!)
      Bruce

      Like

  7. Clyde says:

    I am agreeing with your earlier assertion that doctrine must be stated in the pure words of  God, and must be stated apart from words additional to scripture.
    We need to know the basics of what we are talking about by understanding what the words mean and not add our guesses to scripture.

    Like

    • Hi Clyde,
      I’m glad that you agree with my basic premise on this blog. Therefore I think you would also agree that what I claimed is very clear in numerous scriptural statements about God and the spirits (angels and people) which He has created.

      Like

  8. Clyde says:

    Yes, but only as long as they are stated in the pure words of God, and not in man made guesses or dictionaries.

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    • Amen, brother! If we depart from that standard we have no authoritive or objective standard by which to determine sound doctrine and recognize false doctrines!

      Like

      • Luc says:

        Except for Jesus!

        Like

      • Hi Luc,
        Thanks for stopping by this blog. Do you mind if I ask you a question?

        How would you suggest that one test and distinguish between false doctrines and true ones “by Jesus”? Can you give me an actual example and how you would do this? How would this differ from comparing both sound doctrine and false doctrine to what scripture actually says?

        Bruce

        Like

  9. Clyde says:

    Jesus is not the standard that we live by.The WORD OF GOD alone is our guidebook for right living and thinking. It has been rightly called ‘the answer book” because from it we receive all the answers we need to know for life! Scripture comes from the right hand of God directly to us though his Holy Spirit as his ordinance to rightly divide truth from lies.
    Only by following all of the holy scriptures may we walk in relationship with God.

    Like

  10. Vernon says:

    Then you must be a bibleian instead of christian if you chose to follow the bible instead of Christ.

    Like

    • Hi Vernon,
      It is never “the Bible INSTEAD OF Christ” as you suggest. Every true Christian will be guided by the Bible for its very theme is Christ. Nor will following Christ ever place one in opposition to the Bible!

      Concerning the scriptures, the Lord Jesus Himself said, “They are they which testify of me.”
      Bruce

      Like

      • Vernon says:

        I think that most people would agree that the bible contains the law. Some would also agree that following the law cannot make us righteous. And most people would also agree that Christ came to complete or do away with the law. The bible contains both the before and after picture of Jesus. The part that didn’t work and the part that does work. Therefore just following “the bible” does not discern between the law and Christ. It is true that the law points to Christ and Jesus is its theme, but just following the law falls short and cannot make you right with God.

        “the bible” contains what does not work and Christ. So following “the bible” is going to pull you in two directions. All of the bible points to Christ, but if you just follow the part that stops short of Christ than you are still missing the mark (hamartia) and that is still sin.

        Following Christ will always place you in opposition to the law. And so the parts of the bible that teach ONLY the law will be in opposition to Christ. If however you see the law as incomplete and ending in Christ then the law does indeed testify about Christ, And we can see that it is not the part of the bible that we follow, but the part that we see needs Christ.

        A bibleian does not understand this. He tries to follow both the old and the new making no distinction between either. He does not elevate the new and understand how the old has changed because of the new. He has two masters but he calls it “the bible”.

        Like

      • Hi Vernon,
        You are absolutely right the Bible contains law (which could only condemn and not give life) and testimony concerning Christ (the only One who can give life.) You are also right that many people are trying to follow both! The vast majority of “church practices” today are patterned after the Old Covenant which divided all of life into two separate compartments (the holy and the common).

        For example there were holy priests and common people, there were holy clothes and common clothes, there were holy foods and common foods, holy days and common days, holy temples and common buildings, holy tithes for the support of holy priests, holy offerings for the construction and maintenance of holy temples and common expenditures. ALL of these Old Covenant distinctions are “alive and well” in most churches today! But with the introduction of the New Covenant at Calvary, the COMMON is made HOLY! Common sinners are made saints (holy ones). WE don’t have any holy days for we are called to live holy lives 24/7! Every believer is a holy and a royal priest! We don’t GO TO holy temples for we ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD! There are no tithes for there is no longer a priestly family to be supported! There are no longer offerings to construct and maintain “temple buildings” for we are the temple! But the whole Bible contains the New Covenant which is so much BETTER than the Old!

        Like

  11. Paul says:

    We’re actually suppose to follow the living Jesus, who speaks to us through the voice of the Holy Spirit.
    Scripture is suppose to be used as a tool to confirm what the Spirit is saying or revealing. God speaks extra Biblical, but never contrary to it.
    I know as a Baptist I was taught the Bible was the complete revelation and the only thing I needed.
    I’m glad God proved that teaching incorrect.
    Personally, I never try to discern a ‘true Christian’ from a ‘non Christian’ – only the Father knows the hearts of the people and where they are at.

    ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me’. John 10:27

    Paul

    Like

  12. Clyde says:

    God is unchanging yesterday, today and forever. Anyone who tries to do away with any part of the bible is a wicked liberal sinner!

    Like

  13. Paul says:

    Clyde, Can you expand on what your referring to, please.

    Thanks.

    Like

  14. Ross Whetson says:

    The Bible states in 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    So Christ is now a flesh and bone creature.
    John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
    Thus God is now flesh and will return as He ascended in His fleshy body.
    Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?
    this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in
    like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
    Jesus shed God’s “real” blood
    Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which
    the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
    Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a
    spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
    It was not a spirit that died on the Cross, it was flesh indwelt by the Father and given life by the Spirit.
    When the blood was emptied, the flesh died since the Ghost was given up, not taken.
    It was real blood and flesh that was on that Cross.
    As man is a person, and Jesus Christ is the only Mediator, if Jesus was not a flesh and blood man we have no salvation.
    God being a person does not contradict Scripture.
    That is all Scripture and not my opinion.
    Let us make man in our image.
    Man is flesh, spirit and soul.
    God is flesh (Christ Jesus), Blood (Spirit), and Soul (Father).
    And all three are one, 1 John 5:7.
    When God formed man out of the dust of the earth, He breathed (spirit) into the body and an eternal soul was created.
    The only difference between our soul and God’s is that we have a starting point and we are all accountable to our Creator Christ.
    Genesis 1:1 ¶ In the beginning God (Father) created the heaven and the earth.
    2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face
    of the deep. And the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) moved upon the face of the waters.
    3 ¶ And God said, (The Word of God) Let there be light: and there was light.
    John 1:1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, (Father) and the Word was with God, (Spirit) and the Word was God. (Jesus Christ)
    2 The same was in the beginning with God.
    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that
    was made.
    John 1:14, the Word was made “flesh”.
    So do we argue with the Word of God in the flesh who is the man Christ Jesus??
    He will rule the 1000 year millenial kingdom in His body of flesh, indwelt by the Father and given life by the Holy Ghost.
    Thus sayeth the Lord.

    Like

    • Hi Ross,

      I entirely agree that the Lord Jesus has a flesh and bone body and always will (but he is not thus a “creature”!) And, yes, the Lord Jesus is a person as scripture states. However, scripture never speaks of the Father or the Holy Spirit as a “person”! Nor are they ever said to be “members” of anything!

      Whenever men try to state God’s truth in their own words they always end up lowering God and bringing Him down to their own level and making HIm in their own image!

      Scripture is clear that God is a spirit and that there is one God, one Lord, one Spirit. But there are not three “persons” or “members” in the Godhead! Rather than giving our allegiance to man’s “Trinity doctrine” — let us give our full allegiance to all that scripture clearly states about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!

      Your brother in Christ,
      Bruce

      Like

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