Archive for the ‘The Trinity’ Category

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 20]:

Greetings Soldier,

I am sorry to see that Mr. Reardon did not attempt a reasoned response to the challenges you put forth to his position but, rather, has chosen to ignore the questions and respond with an argument against the Trinity. As a positive, this is confirmation that he has no good reasons or answers for the inconsistencies and discrepancies that have been brought to his attention regarding the Jehovah’s Witness organization/cult. Despite his unwillingness to respond to you, it is important for you as a Christian to exercise a higher standard and make every attempt to provide a reasoned response to intellectually honest inquiries and objections with meekness and fear, per the admonition of 1 Peter 3:15. Therefore, here is my recommended response to his arguments provided in a point-by-point fashion for clarity:

~Mr. Reardon,

Thank you for your comments. Though you have not yet addressed my previous challenges to your position, as a born again Christian who holds to the doctrine of the Trinity as an essential part of true theology, I am commanded to provide a reasoned defense of the Faith whenever possible. With that said, I would like to address some of the fundamental problems in the arguments that you have presented against the doctrine of the Trinity and why they are based upon flawed premises. If I may elaborate:

1st) You said:  “I am a father, a son and a husband. But, none of these TITLES is my name, and I am NOT three different people! These are separate and distinct positions, roles or offices that I occupy and function in, as ONE PERSON! At times I speak and function as a father. At times I speak and function as a son. And at times I speak and function as a husband.”

Your analogy here is a false one, though, as at no time are you your OWN father, son, or husband. Jesus claimed that God was HIS father many times while on earth and even AFTER He was glorified in heaven (which means He was no longer in the flesh–Rev. 3:5, 12). Likewise, God Himself announced openly that Jesus Christ was HIS son numerous times, and this is confirmed over and over again in the Scriptures . Unless you are arguing that Jesus was His own father and God was his own son (which is absurd and un-Biblical), this argument has no merit. Besides, Jesus Himself stated that if you are married, then you and your wife are ‘one flesh’. Surely, you don’t take that to mean that you and her are the same person do you? Rather, you understand Jesus to mean simply that the both of you are ‘one’ in unity. The same type of consistency must be applied to our understanding of the relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (the term ‘Trinity’ literally means Tri-unity or ‘Three in unity’).

2nd) You said:  “Many Christians are always bringing up ‘the Trinity this’ or ‘the Trinity that’. I defy you to show me where the word ‘Trinity’ is found anywhere in the Bible. Here’s a hint for you:  It isn’t there!!”

With respect, you seem to be arguing that since the word ‘Trinity’ is not found in the Bible, then it therefore does not/cannot exist. Using that same logic, one could argue that automobiles, cell phones, grandfathers, and even the Bible itself cannot exist either, since none of those words is found in the Bible. Surely, you would agree that such a conclusion is absurd, no? Likewise, hopefully you can clearly see the problem with your own argument as well. Although the word ‘Trinity’ is not mentioned in the Bible, the concept of ‘three in one’ is (1 John 5:7; Eph. 4:4-6; ). Not to mention the litany of times that Jesus used the terms ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘our’ to describe Himself in relation to the Father along with the crystal clear instances at Jesus’ baptism and Stephen’s martyrdom/stoning where all 3 members of the Godhead are present and are individually recognized and described.

3rd) You said:  “Unauthorized changes were made in 325 A.D. when Emperor Constantine and his “scholars” introduced the doctrine of the “trinity” to the world, and established it as the official doctrine of the church of Rome … with the emperor being its head.”

I would say that this is the most troubling argument of all. Here, you are asserting that, at some point in time, the Bible was changed and is therefore not accurate in its description of the Triune nature of God. If that’s the case, how do you know that ANY of what the Bible says is reliable? How do you know that Jesus really was the Son of God who was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead on the third day if the Bible isn’t reliable and doesn’t really mean what it says? Frankly, Mr. Reardon, it seems all too easy for those who disagree with what the Bible says to somehow try to undermine its authority in order to validate their own doctrines and beliefs. This is but one of the distinguishing marks of a Christian counterfeit and/or cult.

As a born again Christian, I hold the Bible to be the infallible, inspired Word of God. It is my ultimate authority and the foundation of my reasoning. The Bible is the lens through which every Christian should interpret the world around us, and not vice versa. I’m sure you would agree that, never should we try to make the Bible ‘fit’ our individual beliefs, but rather we should adjust our beliefs to fit the truth of the Bible. I do not deny that there are some difficult doctrines in Christianity, but the doctrine of the Trinity is undeniable IF we study Bible in a consistent, straightforward manner and interpret Scripture in light of other Scripture. One God existing in 3 persons is not in any way unfathomable, as even water exists in 3 totally distinct, different forms at certain temperatures, yet it still remains H2O at all times and one egg can be separated into three distinct parts, yet it remains ‘one egg’.  I hope that this has provided you with some more food for thought (pardon the pun) and some items to consider with regards to this crucial topic. Consider the very sobering forewarnings penned by the Apostle Paul regarding the satanic deception of the times in which we live:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;    ~1 Timothy 4: 1-2

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
~2 Timothy 4: 2-4

I pray that you will give this some serious thought and am here to help you think through these issues should you need me. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Hopefully this will aid in helping him come to see the error of what he is doing and repent of it. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 11]:

Greetings Soldier,

Your recent enquiries reveal a deep thirst for knowledge and an eagerness to put what you have learned thus far into action. Needless to say, the Heavenly Hierarchy is pleased with this! Regarding your question about whether unbelievers (whom we know to be living in willful denial of God’s revealed truth) are necessarily lying when they profess to believe the things they say they do: the answer is ‘no’—they are not necessarily lying but are often ‘self-deceived’. Remember, satan does have the ability to blind the minds of those who deny God in order to keep the Gospel from reaching their hearts. One of the ways he accomplishes this task is by means of cultivating and promoting an attitude of ‘willful ignorance‘ (merely one form of self-deception) on the part of the unbeliever with regards to things concerning God, Christ, and the Bible.  It has been rightly stated that one will not receive into their heart as true that which their mind rejects as false. Therefore, it is the concerned Christian’s urgent duty to engage in pulling down such ‘intellectual strongholds’ through the bold presentation and declaration of the truth in order that the unbeliever might be freed from the captivity of satanic deception and granted repentance unto salvation by God the Father, through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Understood in this light, Christ’s declaration in John 8:32–‘you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free’–is received with a new and fresh appreciation in the mind and heart of the Christian.

In response to your second question: ‘yes’ I do advocate trying out these arguments online. There you will find no shortage of anti-Christian blogs, posts, and websites where you may engage the unbeliever, expose the error of their worldview, and enlighten them with Biblical truth. Be forewarned, though, that unbelievers do not take kindly to having the basis of their worldview challenged and exposed in this way and you will almost certainly encounter hostility like you never have before. In truth, this is really a positive, since it is a sign that the arguments have struck a nerve and are provoking some discomfort in the unbeliever’s state of mind. Besides, any reaction is always preferred over apathy (since apathy is but one sure sign of intellectual and spiritual ‘deadness’). So long as there is passion and/or zeal present (even misguided passion and/or zeal), then there is hope of a genuine conversion; after all, who can forget the grand transformation that took place when a certain misguided zealot named Saul was converted into that radical new creature in Christ—the Apostle Paul! If you are interested in beginning a conversation on the Dialogue.org site you mentioned, then I suggest you simply state your position plainly as to how Christianity provides the foundation for preconditions of intelligibility and then challenge the unbelievers there with a few direct questions about how those things are reconciled within their worldview. The purpose of this is twofold: it will provide the unbeliever with an opportunity to tell you about their worldview so that an internal critique of it can be performed, while providing you with the opportunity to plainly demonstrate to them how and why Christianity alone provides a rational, internally consistent, foundation for the preconditions of intelligibility required to hold a discussion in the first place (knowledge truth, logic, etc.). For example, you could begin with something like this:

*’Isn’t Dialogue.org great?! We have a place where anyone can come and argue any point about virtually any topic! However, an astute debater will find that the very concept of ‘debate’ assumes the existence of logic, truth, and knowledge. Since laws of logic are abstract, universal, invariants and truth and knowledge are certain by definition, each of these concepts can be (and are) made sense of in the Christian worldview (since they reflect the absolute, immaterial nature of a Sovereign God who has revealed Himself to mankind such that we can be certain of who He is).One should ultimately ask, though, how any non-Christian can rationally account for any of these concepts apart from the God of the Bible. Well?’

This should elicit enough response from the other side to keep you busy for a while and provide you with plenty of hands on practice in evaluating non-Christian worldviews for the presence of arbitrariness, inconsistency, and the preconditions of intelligibility. Have fun,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

*To see this approach utilized at a real online debate site, check out: http://www.debate.org/forums/Religion/topic/55783/

As we draw nearer to the time of Christ’s return, God has assured us in His Word that we can expect to see an increase in those defecting from the Christian Faith and also a general departure from the sound foundational doctrines of Christianity.  The Apostle Paul writes of this in 1 Timothy 4:1-2:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

And again in 2 Timothy 4:2-4:

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables

Now more than ever, we are seeing an obvious attempt by satan to undermine the revealed Truth of God’s Word.   Through the spirit of error (I John 4:6), he has caused many to forsake sound Biblical doctrine in exchange for ‘fables’—or made up, false human notions.  With access to information all around us, you don’t have to look very hard to find examples of where this has occurred.  In fact, I ran across an online article awhile back which was dedicated entirely to disproving the existence of the Trinity.  The article was written by a well-meaning, professing Christian name Bobby who was also offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who could prove otherwise.

I have had face-to-face encounters in the past with others who embrace this type of anti-Trinitarian theology as well, and am familiar with the types of arguments that are normally used in support of this un-Biblical position.  Interestingly enough, Bobby’s article contains some of those same arguments, as well as some new ones.  I put forth a response on his site and thought it might be helpful to repost it here for the benefit of those who may be dealing with this (and similar) doctrinal issues as well.   If you haven’t encountered this ‘doctrine of devils’ yet, you probably will at some point.  Here is my response to Bobby as originally submitted (with minor edits):

Bobby, my name is Mike and I happened across your articles on the internet today. You have certainly done a lot of work and research in compiling the information you have posted. I commend you for your desire for truth, as that is the mark of a Christian and is something that should grow more intense in us as we grow in the Lord. With that said, I am a born again Christian who happens to hold to the doctrine of the Trinity and see it as an essential part of true Christian theology. I am not interested in the $10,000 reward that you have offered, but I do see some fundamental problems in the arguments that you have presented against the doctrine of the Trinity as they are based on flawed premises. If I may elaborate:

 1st:  You said: “I am a father, a son and a husband. But, none of these TITLES is my name, and I am NOT three different people! These are separate and distinct positions, roles or offices that I occupy and function in, as ONE PERSON! At times I speak and function as a father. At times I speak and function as a son. And at times I speak and function as a husband.”

Your analogy here is a false one, as at no time are you your OWN father, son, or husband. Jesus claimed that God was HIS father many times while on earth and even AFTER He was glorified in heaven (which means He was no longer in the flesh–Rev. 3:5, 12). Likewise, God Himself announced openly that Jesus Christ was HIS son numerous times, and this is confirmed over and over again in the Scriptures . Unless you are arguing that Jesus was His own father and God was his own son (which is absurd and un-Biblical), this argument has no merit. Besides, Jesus Himself stated that if you are married, then you and your wife are ‘one flesh’. Surely, you don’t take that to mean that you and her are the same person do you? Rather, you understand Jesus to mean simply that the both of you are ‘one’ in unity. The same type of consistency must be applied to our understanding of the relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (the term ‘Trinity’ literally means Tri-unity or ‘Three in unity’).

 

 2nd:  You seem to be arguing that since the word ‘Trinity’ is not found in the Bible, then it therefore cannot exist. Using that same logic, one could argue that neither the Bible nor grandfathers can exist either, since neither of those words is found in the Bible. Surely, you would agree that such a conclusion is absurd, no? Hopefully you can more clearly see the problem with your argument as well. Although the word ‘Trinity’ is not mentioned in the Bible, the concept of ‘three in one’ is (1 John 5:7; Eph. 4:4-6; ). Not to mention the litany of times that Jesus used the terms ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘our’ to describe Himself in relation to the Father along with the crystal clear instances at Jesus’ baptism and Stephen’s stoning where all 3 are present and individually recognized and described.

 

3rd:  You said:  “Unauthorized changes were made in 325 A.D. when Emperor Constantine and his “scholars” introduced the doctrine of the “trinity” to the world, and established it as the official doctrine of the church of Rome … with the emperor being its head.”

I would say that this is the most troubling argument of all. Here, you are asserting that, at some point in time, the Bible was changed and is therefore not accurate in its description of the Triune nature of God. If that’s the case, how do you know that any of what the Bible says is reliable? How do you know that Jesus really was the Son of God who was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead on the third day if the Bible isn’t reliable and doesn’t really mean what it says?   With all due respect Bobby, it seems all too easy for those who disagree with what the Bible says to somehow try to undermine its authority in order to validate their own doctrines and beliefs. Ironically, this is exactly what counterfeit cults such as Jehovah’s witnesses and Mormons (which you oppose in some of your other writings) do to try and justify their doctrines. Perhaps you should give this some serious thought.

 As a born again Christian, I hold the Bible to be the infallible, inspired Word of God.   It is my ultimate authority and the foundation of my reasoning.   The Bible is the lens through which every Christian should interpret the world around us, and not vice versa. I’m sure you would agree that, never should we try to make the Bible ‘fit’ our individual beliefs, but rather we should adjust our beliefs to fit the truth of the Bible. I do not deny that there are some difficult doctrines in Christianity, but the doctrine of the Trinity is undeniable IF we study Bible in a consistent, straightforward manner and interpret Scripture in light of other Scripture. One God existing in 3 persons is not in any way unfathomable, as Even H2O exists in 3 totally distinct, different forms at certain temperatures, yet it still remains H2O at all times.   As I mentioned previously, I appreciate your zeal for the Lord and your obvious knowledge of the Word of God. I do not doubt your sincerity as a Christian, but simply hope to provide you with some food for thought and some items to consider with regards to this crucial topic.

In Christ,

Mike