Jonah

Not believing in the traditional Christ

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Maureen said:

There is no problem at all. Each person of the Trinity is God. Each person is distinct from the other. They are one divine God, they are Creator, Saviour and Comforter.

M.

It is a difficult matter to define the nuances of this discussion. We Trinitarians struggle against the idea that the Godhead is only united in purpose--insisting that God is one in some substantial way. Then LDS wonder at our seeming Modalism and ask of us the same questions we ask of Oneness folks (who was Jesus talking to when He prayed, etc.). We answer that no, the three beings are distinct--just not separate. Now LDS wonder why we find their belief so different. The bottom line is that Trinitarians believe in the Oneness and the Threeness of God, and we suspect that diverting too far one way or the other leads to serious error.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Maureen said:
7 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

Of course, this entire idea gets problematic if one believes in the Trinity, for who is the Holy Spirit but the Lord, and the Lord is God.  For they are of the same substance, even if not the same being, and thus it is the LORD who is also the comforter.

There is no problem at all. Each person of the Trinity is God. Each person is distinct from the other. They are one divine God, they are Creator, Saviour and Comforter.

M.

Help me out here. So each person is distinct from the other. OK, that's easy enough for me to perceive.

Each person is God. OK, wait. Meaning each person is *a* God? Or, meaning each person is *the same God*?

They are one divine God ...  So that sounds like each person is the same God.

I'm having difficulty wrapping my mind around this. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

It is a difficult matter to define the nuances of this discussion. We Trinitarians struggle against the idea that the Godhead is only united in purpose--insisting that God is one in some substantial way. Then LDS wonder at our seeming Modalism and ask of us the same questions we ask of Oneness folks (who was Jesus talking to when He prayed, etc.). We answer that no, the three beings are distinct--just not separate. Now LDS wonder why we find their belief so different. The bottom line is that Trinitarians believe in the Oneness and the Threeness of God, and we suspect that diverting too far one way or the other leads to serious error.

Now, it's even more difficult for me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my definition of the Trinity:

The Father is God.

The Son is God.

The Holy Spirit is God.

There is only one God.

So...

Modalists say God in One in Three--that Jesus is all three, and fills this different 'modes' or roles.

Trinitarians say that God is Three in One--that the three are distinct persons, but are one in a substantial way.

LDS Godhead says God is three separate personages that are united in purpose.

Each view has its opponents, its questions, and its defenses. Modalism believes it solves the argument of the Jews and Muslims--that Christians are polytheists. I suppose that LDS believe their teaching solves the seeming absurdities of God being one and three simultaneously. Trinitarians believe we hold the biblical middle ground. Of necessity; we embrace the difficulty of understanding God's threeness/oneness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Harrison said:

Help me out here. So each person is distinct from the other. OK, that's easy enough for me to perceive.

Each person is God. OK, wait. Meaning each person is *a* God? Or, meaning each person is *the same God*?

They are one divine God ...  So that sounds like each person is the same God.

I'm having difficulty wrapping my mind around this.

There is ONE God, who is divine. His essence is his divinity. God has always existed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. The three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct from each other, meaning the Father is the Father and never the Son or Holy Spirit, the Son is the Son and the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit. They are individually and collectively God. They are the ONE and ONLY God.

M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Maureen said:

There is ONE God, who is divine. His essence is his divinity. God has always existed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. The three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct from each other, meaning the Father is the Father and never the Son or Holy Spirit, the Son is the Son and the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit. They are individually and collectively God. They are the ONE and ONLY God.

M.

Well, @Maureen, I'm really trying here. The only method I know is to take each sentence (and sometimes each phrase) and hold it up to examine it. So, please don't think ill of me for parsing. I can easily hold in my mind a claim that there is one God. I can easily hold in my mind the claim that God always existed. But I can't succeed at holding that God always existed as the Father of a Son *and* always existed as that Son, let alone adding in a third being. 

I have always understood that three persons are by definition distinct *and* separate. To hold in my mind that the Father always existed as the Son and at the same time that the Father is never the Son, well it just doesn't work. I feel as though I'm being asked to accept a proposition that something is and is not. That a thing is separate but not distinct, or distinct but not separate. I just can't make it work. Want to keep trying to get me to see, my sister? :)

Edited by Harrison

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, prisonchaplain said:

Here's my definition of the Trinity:

The Father is God.

The Son is God.

The Holy Spirit is God.

There is only one God.

Thanks, @prisonchaplain, your definition of the Trinity seems straightforward. Tell me, would turning each sentence around like this still preserve the integrity of your definition?

God is the Father. God is the Son. God is the Holy Spirit.There is only one God. 

The reason I ask is that I personally think to say that the Father is God is the very same thing as saying that God is the Father. And so (for me) I can accept the possibility of one God who acts differently on different occasions--has different roles as I think you said. But to do that I feel that I have to conclude that some verses of scripture just aren't true--which in my own mind I'm prepared to do. Of course in another time and place I realize I'd get executed or imprisoned for saying so. 

Edited by Harrison

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

It is a difficult matter to define the nuances of this discussion. We Trinitarians struggle against the idea that the Godhead is only united in purpose--insisting that God is one in some substantial way. Then LDS wonder at our seeming Modalism and ask of us the same questions we ask of Oneness folks (who was Jesus talking to when He prayed, etc.). We answer that no, the three beings are distinct--just not separate. Now LDS wonder why we find their belief so different. The bottom line is that Trinitarians believe in the Oneness and the Threeness of God, and we suspect that diverting too far one way or the other leads to serious error.

Everything you described about the nature of the Godhead, I agree with. I think the difference is we accept that God the Father and Jesus are corporeal beings, although exalted and perfect.  And the notion that God is of the same species as Man.  The nature of the unity of the Godhead/Trinity is really not of a concern to me, because I think we basically agree, they are separate persons, but also unified beyond just a committee in a way we cannot comprehend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Harrison said:

Thanks, @prisonchaplain, your definition of the Trinity seems straightforward. Tell me, would turning each sentence around like this still preserve the integrity of your definition?

God is the Father. God is the Son. God is the Holy Spirit.There is only one God. 

The reason I ask is that I personally think to say that the Father is God is the very same thing as saying that God is the Father. And so (for me) I can accept the possibility of one God who acts differently on different occasions--has different roles as I think you said. But to do that I feel that I have to conclude that some verses of scripture just aren't true--which in my own mind I'm prepared to do. Of course in another time and place I realize I'd get executed or imprisoned for saying so. 

I am suspicious of turning the sentences around. Scripture supports that the Father is God. After all, Jesus commanded us to pray to Him. Jesus also claimed to be God (John 8:58). Further, the Holy Spirit is used interchangeably with God in Acts 5:3-4. He can be grieved, and so clearly has personhood. And, of course, God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). However, I am not so sure I could find passages that showed God being the three persons. Also, if such an understanding leads you to Modalism (most commonly found in Oneness Pentecostal or Apostolic churches), then it seems a troublesome exercise. It's always risky to go beyond scripture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@bytebear You are spot on. The Father's corporeal nature is a real difficulty for Trinitarians. Also, this conversation becomes so much more insightful if the LDS doctrine of humanity's pre-mortal, eternal existence is included.

Edited by prisonchaplain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

27 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

@bytebear You are spot on. The Father's corporeal nature is a real difficulty for Trinitarians. Also, this conversation becomes so much more insightful if the LDS doctrine of humanity's pre-mortal, eternal existence is included.

I think the pre-mortal existence is key to understanding the LDS belief.  Man is immortal, both pre- and post- Earth.   LDS also defines God not so much in terms of role, or power, but in nature.  God is ever progressing and becoming more, through his creations (us).  we are "gods" because we have the ability to progress and procreate and take part in the nature of what God is.  And I never understood why the corporeal nature of the Father is so difficult.  One Christian would mock Mormons for believing in a 2/3 God.  And I would remind him that he believed in a 1/3 God, if he believes in the physical resurrection of Christ.  So, for both of us, at least a portion of God is corporeal. 

Edited by bytebear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Harrison said:

Well, @Maureen, I'm really trying here. The only method I know is to take each sentence (and sometimes each phrase) and hold it up to examine it. So, please don't think ill of me for parsing. I can easily hold in my mind a claim that there is one God. I can easily hold in my mind the claim that God always existed. But I can't succeed at holding that God always existed as the Father of a Son *and* always existed as that Son, let alone adding in a third being. 

I have always understood that three persons are by definition distinct *and* separate. To hold in my mind that the Father always existed as the Son and at the same time that the Father is never the Son, well it just doesn't work. I feel as though I'm being asked to accept a proposition that something is and is not. That a thing is separate but not distinct, or distinct but not separate. I just can't make it work. Want to keep trying to get me to see, my sister? :)

Hey @Harrison, I understand that it can be difficult to wrap your mind around a belief that is not what you've been taught.

In the Trinity God is ONE and therefore cannot be divided. One is one. The three persons are not parts of God, they are God. God cannot be divided into parts because God is One. Each person of the Trinity are distinct from each other and have relationships with each other. That is why the Father is the Father and is NEVER the Son or Holy Spirit. The same goes for the Son, he is the Son and NEVER the Father or Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit and NEVER the Father or Son. There is only one Divine essence (being) which we call God. Since the persons of the Trinity are individually and collectively God, we can claim that Jesus is God or that the Father and Holy Spirit are God.

I hope I've explained it a little better. It's important to understand that there is only One God.

M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Maureen said:

Hey @Harrison, I understand that it can be difficult to wrap your mind around a belief that is not what you've been taught.

 ...

I hope I've explained it a little better. It's important to understand that there is only One God.

Yes, you're right. I was thinking the very same thing as I wrote.  I asked myself, "How is it, Harrison, that you find it easy to accept the possibility of one God instead of many or that God always existed, but difficult to comprehend some other doctrines?" And I confess that people were telling me such from a very early age.  So, I counseled myself that some other person such as @Maureen could just as easily perhaps accept the doctrines you (and @prisonchaplain ) have endeavored to explain to me. 

So, I appreciate your patience with me, and taking a little extra time to share your beliefs. I hope my respect has been apparent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

I am suspicious of turning the sentences around. Scripture supports that the Father is God. After all, Jesus commanded us to pray to Him. Jesus also claimed to be God (John 8:58). Further, the Holy Spirit is used interchangeably with God in Acts 5:3-4. He can be grieved, and so clearly has personhood. And, of course, God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). However, I am not so sure I could find passages that showed God being the three persons. Also, if such an understanding leads you to Modalism (most commonly found in Oneness Pentecostal or Apostolic churches), then it seems a troublesome exercise. It's always risky to go beyond scripture.

Thank you for saying so (with regard to turning the sentences around). Thus, I have a better understanding of some fundamental differences in the ways you and I would approach this issue.

With regard to being lead toward Modalism I may have been less than clear. I don't feel lead that way. I only used it as an example because you had mentioned it earlier. Moreover, I'm unclear myself on what  you mean about going beyond scripture. As an outsider to so many of these doctrines it seems that one person's strict adherence to scripture is another person's erroneous interpretation of scripture or wayward venture away from scripture. 

But in any event thank you for patiently responding to my questions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Harrison said:

With regard to being lead toward Modalism I may have been less than clear. I don't feel lead that way. I only used it as an example because you had mentioned it earlier. Moreover, I'm unclear myself on what  you mean about going beyond scripture. As an outsider to so many of these doctrines it seems that one person's strict adherence to scripture is another person's erroneous interpretation of scripture or wayward venture away from scripture. 

I have been presuming that you are LDS, so I did not think you were embracing Modalism. Rather, you seemed to suggest that if we say God is the Father (rather than the Father is God) it could lead to a Modalistic understanding. I believe that you and I both would see a problem with that. As for scripture-adherence, sure there are some debates in which both sides claim the Bible supports their side. My point was that if the Bible does not say a thing (or even answer a particular question) then I tend to say so. Too often we (maybe I) treat our conjectures as expressed truth. As you read posts here you will find that most posters are pretty faithful about distinguishing opinion, interpretation, and church-approved doctrine. Enjoy the site, friend!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Harrison said:

Help me out here. So each person is distinct from the other. OK, that's easy enough for me to perceive.

Each person is God. OK, wait. Meaning each person is *a* God? Or, meaning each person is *the same God*?

They are one divine God ...  So that sounds like each person is the same God.

I'm having difficulty wrapping my mind around this. 

 

 

My understanding from that of a previously being Catholic, but the extent of my deep doctrine education simply being the Catholic school education all Catholics (should, or normally) get, regarding the trinity is as follows, at least as best as I can explain it.  (This is not necessarily what I believe being a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...it is simply my understanding I obtained as a Catholic earlier in Life).

First, one principle that constantly gets ignored (though I suppose it depends on what creed one is looking at) is that one can comprehend the nature of Diety, but at the same time, this is also incomprehensible.  Our feeble, limited, mortal minds cannot comprehend the very nature of Deity because we are finite and limited and cannot comprehend the infinite of him.  This is why, though we can try to look at the subject, in many instances, despite our best attempts, we cannot truly or fully understand it.

That said...

The trinity is a three in one idea.  They are three individual and different beings.  Just like you and I are different individuals, so they are also different individuals.

Now, the difficult interpretation comes in that they are also consubstantial, or of the same substance.  This makes them effectively ONE being.  Discussions of HOW this comes about is the subject for MANY debates.

Many shy away from trying to define how this is, as in reference to the first item I stated, even if we try, we cannot actually comprehend how this is possible or done.  There are other debates about this.

One that I prefer to utilize is to think about our bodies.  We have many different body parts.  Three of these are my right hand, my left hand, and my head.  They are all parts of my body.  However, my head is distinctly NOT my right or left hand and the same applies to my hands.  These body parts can operate independently of each other.  You can see them at various times together but you can also tell that they are not the same thing.  At the same time, they are ALL part of me, they are the same person as I am.

Now, there are many Trinitarians that do not agree with that example, as they would say that these body parts are still the same being and not three independent minds.  There are several branches of this idea as well.  One would be the same as I described above, but imagine that each body part also has a mind of it's own.  It is all still part of me, and the same body, but each part is also independent in that it has it's own mind and ability to act.

Others say this is still too restrictive.  That, rather than just the same body, each portion of me would need to be it's independent part, unconnected to the rest of my body, with it's own mind, but still at the same time a part of me.

As we deviate further and further from my original example one actually gets CLOSER to our Church's idea of what the trinity is.  In effect, one could look at our ideas and say that we are at the far extremes of what trinity is, but in debate could still fall under that umbrella.

One of these extremes that I have heard discussed among Catholics is that of what substance is and consists of.  I did not agree with this idea as a Catholic, but I know there are some that refer to this idea.

In this there is the idea that there are several different substances in the universe.  One of those is what makes us human or people.  The Lord is NOT of this substance.  He is of another substance.  We, as humans are all individuals.  We are all separate and different beings.  On the otherhand, as we are all made of the same substance, we are part of the whole humanity.  In this, we are many, but created of the same substance.  We are all the same type of creature and make.

On the otherhand, the trinity is made up of another substance, but it is the same substance of their body.  In this way, they are also independent beings, but as they are made of the same substance, also one.  Thus they are three in one.

As you can see from the last idea, it is getting VERY close to what the LDS believe...though we still have different ideas.  In the same way that the fringes of Trinitarian thought may think of the three in one being three separate characters but made of the same stuff, just like humans and humanity are many beings but made of the same stuff..we believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three different beings (though not necessarily in the same way humans are different but of the same stuff).

This is from my years prior to joining the church, where obviously I now believe in what the Church teaches.  In reflection and having learned much about other religions, I find something rather unique which normally Trinitarians object to.  This thought is that Trinitarian ideology actually is VERY close in perception to what some Hindu sects also view about what their god/gods are and how they are defined (same substance, different beings).  Unfortunately, rather than see the things that unite these ideas, most normally want to deny the similarities (on both sides) and try to prove why they are more correct than the other in their three in one beliefs (whether Trinitarian, modalism, or otherwise).

Edited by JohnsonJones
clarifcation, spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience, mainstream Christians generally refuse to extend to the LDS view of the Godhead, the same courtesy of 'inability to fully comprehend' the doctrine in light of passages of the Bible which, at face value, may appear to contradict the doctrine.  Seems to me that one could read only the Bible and, without intervention from others, easily come to either conclusion on their own.  Both interpretations require faith that extends beyond what can be determined from the text alone.

On a related note: My grandfather, who is Baptist, accepts the foundational LDS interpretation of the Godhead as accurate (3 separate beings united in purpose), although he rejects the LDS interpretation of the Father's nature (flesh and bone).

I bring this up is because so many people I have met who accept the doctrine of the trinity, label non-trinitarians, such as us Latter-Day Saints, as not being Christians.  Someone else's label doesn't bother me, but the inability to acknowledge such a paradigm flaw is annoying to say the least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, person0 said:

In my experience, mainstream Christians generally refuse to extend to the LDS view of the Godhead, the same courtesy of 'inability to fully comprehend' the doctrine in light of passages of the Bible which, at face value, may appear to contradict the doctrine.  Seems to me that one could read only the Bible and, without intervention from others, easily come to either conclusion on their own.  Both interpretations require faith that extends beyond what can be determined from the text alone.

On a related note: My grandfather, who is Baptist, accepts the foundational LDS interpretation of the Godhead as accurate (3 separate beings united in purpose), although he rejects the LDS interpretation of the Father's nature (flesh and bone). ...

We have different problems that may not easily compare. We Trinitarians espouse a seeming absurdity--that God is three and one, simultaneously. According to scripture the Father is certainly God, as is the Son, as is the Holy Ghost. Equally true is that God is one. So, how are they three and one at the same time? That is a question the Bible does not address with much precision. We explain to our members using triangles, eggs, states of H2O, etc. All such analogies are extra-biblical, and our detractors can easily point to deficiencies. The LDS Godhead feels polytheistic to us. We're already aware that our monotheism is rejected by Jews and Muslims. We do not want to push any further by accepting a unity-in-purpose understanding of our God. As to this grandfather, well I'm not one to question anyone's Christianity. However, he is not a traditional Trinitarian if he accepts that God's unity is merely of purpose. There are a small number of theologians who suggest something like a social Trinity, but most reject this teaching--again, as too polytheistic.

LDS can be magnanimous towards Trinitarians. After all, if we are devoted and not actively opposed to the Church we have the likelihood of entering the Terrestrial Kingdom. We traditionalists, on the other hand, believe in a heaven vs. hell ending. We fear that anyone too far from true doctrine may face eternal punishment. So, we are ever-so-cautious, and can come across as abrasive and judgmental.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

We have different problems that may not easily compare. We Trinitarians espouse a seeming absurdity--that God is three and one, simultaneously. According to scripture the Father is certainly God, as is the Son, as is the Holy Ghost. Equally true is that God is one. So, how are they three and one at the same time? That is a question the Bible does not address with much precision. We explain to our members using triangles, eggs, states of H2O, etc. All such analogies are extra-biblical, and our detractors can easily point to deficiencies. The LDS Godhead feels polytheistic to us. We're already aware that our monotheism is rejected by Jews and Muslims. We do not want to push any further by accepting a unity-in-purpose understanding of our God. As to this grandfather, well I'm not one to question anyone's Christianity. However, he is not a traditional Trinitarian if he accepts that God's unity is merely of purpose. There are a small number of theologians who suggest something like a social Trinity, but most reject this teaching--again, as too polytheistic.

LDS can be magnanimous towards Trinitarians. After all, if we are devoted and not actively opposed to the Church we have the likelihood of entering the Terrestrial Kingdom. We traditionalists, on the other hand, believe in a heaven vs. hell ending. We fear that anyone too far from true doctrine may face eternal punishment. So, we are ever-so-cautious, and can come across as abrasive and judgmental.

There are many of us who want to be respectful. Depending upon the situation we see little use in bashing. However, at the end of the day isn't it true that many more of us lay our heads on the pillow believing that we worship the true God, and that all the others don't? You tell that you fear anyone too far from true doctrine may face eternal punishment, and insofar as the Terrestrial Kingdom you mentioned is not the "best" the LDS harbor similar fears on your behalf. This seems to be the elephant in the room. The elephant seems to have painted on it's hide the words that people really do worship different Gods for all the efforts some of us make to behave civilly. 

My sweet sister married a man who believes as you do, @prisonchaplain. I recall decades ago feeling that I could see (and hear) in the expressions of his parents despite their best efforts that they feared their son had married a daughter of Satan--or at least a woman who had been deceived and needed saving. Simultaneous in our most private moments with me my own mother expressed her fears that my sister and her children wouldn't be able to attain to live with God again. During all those decades I witnessed the usually quiet, but sometimes not so quiet tug-of-war. Today my sister's mother-in-law is much less cordial about "those Mormons", and my sister's children bear what I consider to be some of the scars from growing up in a home where the parents were "unequally yoked". (Please don't make the mistake of perceiving any ill-will on my part toward her.)

So, my point I suppose is simply that for all our sincerity and our best efforts (speaking generally of all of us) there really seems to be a phantom hanging over us as we try to live together with our different Gods for peace sake. (And of course we need by all means to maintain our efforts for peace sake.) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was asked a great question on this site a few years back: How wrong can one be about God and still go to heaven? This was an LDS question being asked of a Trinitarian. The expected answer might have been along the lines of not at all, or at least believe in the Trinity, or some other appeal to a historic (or even creedal) understanding of the one true God. Then there is the cop-out: the judging of souls is above my pay grade. Ultimately, I would contend that the latter is more true. However, what I did answer was that despite our many shared truths there is not one Article of Faith nor one Fundamental Truth (my church's truth claims) that we could agree on--at least not without explanation.* We both fervently believe that the Holy Ghost guides us. So, one or both sides is missing something. Wise Christians leave the converting and convicting to the Holy Ghost. So we come together when we can, at sites like this, and we share life and thoughts and hopefully some inspirations.

* As an example, the LDS Article of Faith that allows for people to worship according to the dictates of the conscience, to me, implies the three kingdoms and pre-mortal existence. In terms of secular law, I agree. However, theologically, I would want to at least clarify. 😎

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, prisonchaplain said:

I was asked a great question on this site a few years back: How wrong can one be about God and still go to heaven? This was an LDS question being asked of a Trinitarian. The expected answer might have been along the lines of not at all, or at least believe in the Trinity, or some other appeal to a historic (or even creedal) understanding of the one true God. Then there is the cop-out: the judging of souls is above my pay grade. Ultimately, I would contend that the latter is more true. However, what I did answer was that despite our many shared truths there is not one Article of Faith nor one Fundamental Truth (my church's truth claims) that we could agree on--at least not without explanation.* We both fervently believe that the Holy Ghost guides us. So, one or both sides is missing something. Wise Christians leave the converting and convicting to the Holy Ghost. So we come together when we can, at sites like this, and we share life and thoughts and hopefully some inspirations.

* As an example, the LDS Article of Faith that allows for people to worship according to the dictates of the conscience, to me, implies the three kingdoms and pre-mortal existence. In terms of secular law, I agree. However, theologically, I would want to at least clarify. 😎

Well, Brother, unless I'm hearing only what I want to hear you seem to have mortared the bricks I placed. :)  I hope you'll welcome my continual questions as time goes on knowing that this particular one has so many more questions than answers. I look forward to more conversations with you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

The LDS Godhead feels polytheistic to us.

Without re-hashing the in depth technicalities of possible [x]theistic terminology, let's assume for a minute that the LDS Godhead is polytheistic.  Why would it actually matter?

20 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

As to this grandfather. . . he is not a traditional Trinitarian if he accepts that God's unity is merely of purpose.

Yeah, we told him that, haha.  He is aware.

20 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

We traditionalists, on the other hand, believe in a heaven vs. hell ending. We fear that anyone too far from true doctrine may face eternal punishment.

Not sure I've ever thought to ask this of a protestant but, why would God punish someone for unintentionally worshiping Him incorrectly? 

20 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

if we are devoted and not actively opposed to the Church we have the likelihood of entering the Terrestrial Kingdom.

Gospel of Person0 here but, similar to my line of thinking in the previous question, I think that the majority of faithful mainstream Christians (and people in general) who do not accept the Restored Gospel will not have received a sufficient opportunity during mortality to be barred from Celestial Glory should they accept it once the appropriate opportunity is given.  I don't know to what extent you have received the opportunity, but I would venture to guess that you have not received and rejected a witness from the Spirit leading you toward the Restored Gospel.  Such a witness is generally where I draw the line in my mind.  That said, God knows where the real line is, not me, haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/30/2019 at 12:39 PM, Maureen said:

There is ONE God, who is divine. His essence is his divinity. God has always existed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. The three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct from each other, meaning the Father is the Father and never the Son or Holy Spirit, the Son is the Son and the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit. They are individually and collectively God. They are the ONE and ONLY God.

M.

The ancient Hebrew scriptures - I believe are the best reference that traditional "Christian" can use to understand and define G-d.  As I have so carefully pointed out to my Jewish and Islamic friends (as well as my Traditional Christian or Trinitarian Christian friends) - The ancient "Biblical" scriptures are very clear but most misunderstandings are based in interpretations in our modern era (especially English words used in the translation of ancient texts).  Always when referencing "one" (singular English term) G-d the ancient scripture uses the ancient Hebrew word "ehad".  This word has a plural meaning referencing many.   Thus the ancient scripture specifically denote plural (more than two) that are bound as one by covenant.  I would point out that this word "ehad" is also used to denote a man and a women become "one flesh" in marriage.  Somehow, we do not seem to confuse this covenant understanding of one so much.

The specific ancient Hebrew word for one individual person is "yhead" - but that term is never used in ancient Hebrew scripture to describe or define the "oneness" of G-d.  One must wonder why G-d ordered the scriptures such if he intended that the persons of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is a singular individual.  @prisonchaplain made reference to Jewish and Islamic reference to polytheism - but again both the Jews and Muslims that I have conversed with (which have background in ancient languages - which includes ancient Hebrew) do not consider multiple G-d's bound by "ehad" type covenant as polytheism.

I have no problem with what ever a person chooses to believe.  But when someone says they believe the ancient scriptures - but then assign modern interpretations - I am concerned that they may be mislead somewhere - and encourage them to study such points deeper - perhaps by talking to an independent expert (Jewish Rabbi) in ancient Hebrew understanding of Biblical texts.

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now