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Why is the trinity so important?


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40 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Because we're not actually worshipping their Christ?  The being we worship has entirely different traits.

But wouldn’t that be more like “you don’t understand Christ” not “that is a different Christ”. It’s like two people describing Donald Trump. They say different things about him but it’s still the same person

Edited by Fether
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38 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Because we're not actually worshipping their Christ?  The being we worship has entirely different traits.

Ours is a white northern European. Theirs is a white northern European. They're the same Jesus.

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Just now, Fether said:

But wouldn’t that be more like “you don’t understand Christ” not “that is a different Christ”. It’s like two people describing Pres Trump. They say different things about him but it’s still the same person

It's more like apples and oranges.  They're both fruit but they aren't the same thing.

Just now, Chum said:

Ours is a white northern European. Theirs is a white northern European. They're the same Jesus.

Appearance is the least issue.

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1 minute ago, JLHPROF said:

Appearance is the least issue.

Oh yeah? Trying hanging up a Jesus pic that looks like the people where he was born. It'll be as big an issue as it needs to be.

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11 minutes ago, Chum said:

Oh yeah? Trying hanging up a Jesus pic that looks like the people where he was born. It'll be as big an issue as it needs to be.

I agree he wasn't a white northern European.  But his mother was a Jew and his father was a resurrected God of no known ethnicity.  Goodness knows what his genetics showed as.

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3 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I agree he wasn't a white northern European.  But his mother was a Jew and his father was a resurrected God of no known ethnicity.  Goodness knows what his genetics showed as.

Scripture has him as not standing out, so likely looked like the rest of his local community.

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

So did Lucifer 🤔

Lucifer is a backstabbing twit. I come up with this brilliant plan to bring all back into the presence of God and gain all the glory for myself and I ask my best friend, the master rhetorician, to handle the presentation and what does he do? He takes all the credit and claims it was his idea.

Jerk. At that point I joined the other side just out of spite.

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44 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I agree he wasn't a white northern European.  But his mother was a Jew and his father was a resurrected God of no known ethnicity.  Goodness knows what his genetics showed as.

The NT is bereft of "OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW FREAKY PALE THAT GUY IS" verses - so fairly sure he actually looks like folks who were born there.

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On 9/1/2021 at 12:30 PM, Fether said:

I have heard the notion that we (latter-day Saints) worship the wrong Jesus many times in my life. As I push that comment further, I have always found that it is entirely because we believe in the God head and not the trinity. I then follow up with the question “so salvation is not found in accepting Christ, or by his grace and mercy, or in the blood of Christ? But rather salvation is found through theological study of God and his nature and coming to a correct conclusion?”

To which I haven’t heard anything convincing or really all that informative.

So what is so important about believing in the trinity for traditional Christians? Many will say that if you don’t believe in the trinitarian nature, you are not only wrong, but at risk of damnation

The Trinity is based on the Father and Son being one in "Substance"- or "consubstantial "  Remember that word- consubstantial,= of one substance.

But what does "Substance" mean?  Or sometimes it is said they have one "Being". One "essence", one "nature".   But what do those vague terms mean??  It means they are One. But why not just say that and not worry about "substance" or "being" which has very little meaning to us today

Those ideas/terms derive from Platonic philosophy which came into the church over a period of time after the death of Jesus- Greek philosophy was very influential in the ancient world. Plotinus, a follower of Plato, and a Christian, was a major figure in bringing Platonic philosophy into the church. Plato of course was not even a Christian- he lived hundreds of years before Christ and his view of substance at the time had little to do with any religious ideas- it was more about the nature of objects vs the nature of ideas.   I won't get into the details right now becaue it will take to long, but suffice it to say that the whole purpose of the false science of alchemy was also about substance.   

Thomas Aquinas adopted this philosophy and became a major contributor to bringing "Scholasticism"- the philosophy of the "schools"- into Christianity

The metaphysical paradigm/concept was that there were "substances" and there were "appearances" or "accidents" which were about the way things APPEARED to us, while substances were what things REALLY ARE.

So in alchemy, both gold and lead had the SAME "substance" of being metals. They were "consubstantial".

 But they have different appearances, they are different colors.  The same volume of each metal weighs a different amount.   One is softer than the other.  But they had the same substance- both were metals.

It's hard to even think this way for us- these ideas are 2500 years old!   Nevertheless, this is exactly what they thought.

 So IF one could just change the APPEARANCE of lead- changing its weight and color and hardness etc- since lead and gold were already consubstantial, then it would theoretically be possible to make lead into gold!   And so alchemists went at it trying to change lead into gold- all based on the metaphysics of "substance".  All one needed to do is find the "Philosopher's Stone" which- theoretically could make the change in appearances while retaining the metalic substances

And then the other side of the question- flesh is a different substance than bread.  But theoretically if one could change the substance of bread while retaining its appearances, then one could make what was REALLY the flesh of Christ, look exactly like bread and his blood appear to be wine.   This was called "trans"- (Change) substantiation (substance)

And thus we have a very quick explanation of what I call "Substance Theology".

And so it was - we LDS believe- that we needed a new way of understanding how it is that three persons can be one, because the idea of substance vs appearances just does not work anymore.  There was need for a "Restoration" of what was lost to pagan Greek philosophy.

And so was revealed that Our Father and Christ had bodies like humans and were unified by purpose and love.  And this can be seen as biblical, which of course "substance" was not. 

That is perfectly simple and easy.  We feel one with our families in love.  We love and become one with our spouses.  We are one in purpose in a Ward service project, helping someone move or going to the Stake or regional farm to pick peaches, etc, or work at the Bishop's storehouse.

And so we can be One as God is One with the Godhead, not in substance theology but in the simplicity of love and purposeful activity in the service of Man.

And what is their purpose? The immortality and eternal life of Mankind.

This is of course a very long story put into a very few ambiguous words. Hope it helped someone

Edited by mfbukowski
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1 hour ago, Chum said:

The NT is bereft of "OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW FREAKY PALE THAT GUY IS" verses - so fairly sure he actually looks like folks who were born there.

I love it.  Best way of way of making that point that I have seen.

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11 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Maybe some other questions will earn an extra star on the forehead or something but I really don't think judgement will be as harsh as people expect. 

I once asked an Evangelical pastor if it was fair that a blatant murdering, drug selling pimp, discovered Christ on his deathbed and was "saved", went to the same heaven as say, Billy Graham, who did so much for Evangelicalism, and saved so many others.

He said that the Billy Graham character might get an extra jewel in his "crown of glory", so yes, that is a real belief!

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10 hours ago, Rivers said:

Monotheism.  Keeping the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit one God keeps Christianity monotheistic.  

But as to why is monotheism so important, I don’t know.

Well, one big plus is that you don't have to buy as many bracelets - just one WWJD and you're good. ;)

 

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14 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Why not? He had a weird nobility about him.

Dude was in Ottoman captivity, supposedly raped, sold out by nobles who I believe also backstabbed his dad.  He had a weird nobility about him and was legit crazy.  That being said he put corrupt nobles in their place, got stuff done and while they got him in the end scared the Ottomans.  For one Hungarian noble to make all that happen, that's impressive.  That took guts.

14 hours ago, Fether said:

This is what I have to believe too. I believe whole heartedly in the doctrine I choose to follow, but at the end of the day it is all faith and hope. Knowledge will come later. 

Other thing, privilege, social class and politics esp. in the USA as of late will always come in the way, is what it is.  I am very much on the other side of the spectrum when it comes to things like civil and LGBTQ rights, a lot on your end are not unfortunately.  It's amazing how so many are not going along with your leaderships council, believe Elder Holland has told them more than once we're all brothers in Christ, knock it off.  If I knew he'd get off the podium and start smacking people i'd pay money to go to conference just to see it and cheer him on.  In death all that goes away and well, who knows if you are right I think many would accept baptism.  Why wouldn't they?  At that point none of this matters.  

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8 hours ago, Calm said:

I love it.  Best way of way of making that point that I have seen.

You think everyone looked the same in those days?  There were multiple races, colors, and ethnicities then too. Samaritans, Cushites, Romans, etc. Ethnic Jews today don't all look the same either.

It's an assumption that Christ resembled any group in particular just because nobody commented.

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17 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

You think everyone looked the same in those days?  There were multiple races, colors, and ethnicities then too. Samaritans, Cushites, Romans, etc. Ethnic Jews today don't all look the same either.

It's an assumption that Christ resembled any group in particular just because nobody commented.

There was a story later on that he was a ******* son of a Roman soldier, Panthera.  If he didn’t take after his mother’s family and looked like Joseph somewhat, I suspect those kinds of rumors would have appeared a lot sooner. 

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17 hours ago, teddyaware said:

The Trinitarians will freely admit that the Trinity is an incomprehensible mystery, far beyond the understanding of man. So until they can comprehend and clearly define the nature of the Trinity, a dialogue with the Trinitarians based on logic and reason is impossible. For all the Trinitarians know, when the mystery of the Trinity is finally revealed, it might very well turn out that the Latter-Day Saints had it right all along.

As for the LDS understanding of the unity of the three members of the Godhead is concerned, almost all Latter-Day Saints totally miss an extremely important element of the story, and that is that there must be three members of the Godhead, each acting in his own specific, indispensable role, in order for any one member of the Godhead to be able to properly function in his own particular divine role. For example, God the Father cannot act in his roll as Father and supreme Creator unless he works in conjunction with a second personage who is God the atoning Redeemer. Without God the Redeemer there would be no way for the Father’s creations to become resurrected  and eternally saved. In other words, without Christ there would be no meaningful point to any creation.

The same principle holds true for each member of the Godhead: they cannot fulfill their divine roles without the other two members of the Godhead working with him in holy unison. Bottom line? There is and can be no God unless there is a Creator Father, Redeeming Son, and Testating Holy Spirit. Individual action is impossible  without the three members of the Godhead acting in perfect unity and harmony with each other, each perfectly fulfilling his own eternally indispensable role.

And so one being can't do all three functions?

Why not?

We are limiting God I think by accepting this

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

You think everyone looked the same in those days?  There were multiple races, colors, and ethnicities then too.

Sure. Folks who were born to long time descendants looked Middle Eastern and north African, so there's your multiple races.

1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

It's an assumption that Christ resembled any group in particular just because nobody commented.

Since the assumption that Christ looked white N.Eu is based on nothing scriptural; it's pretty much at the Yeah. That Didn't Happen end of the scale.  Without any other supporting evidence, the least unlikely assumption is that Christ looked north African or maybe ME. Which everyone who'd considered this for 15 seconds knows.

One would think that if God placed a savior who was so visibly, shockingly different from his closest Earth relatives, He must have had an hugely important reason for it - which would naturally lead to some mention by folks who were endlessly laser focused on chronicling stuff God does.

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1 hour ago, Chum said:

Sure. Folks who were born to long time descendants looked Middle Eastern and north African, so there's your multiple races.

Since the assumption that Christ looked white N.Eu is based on nothing scriptural; it's pretty much at the Yeah. That Didn't Happen end of the scale.  Without any other supporting evidence, the least unlikely assumption is that Christ looked north African or maybe ME. Which everyone who'd considered this for 15 seconds knows.

One would think that if God placed a savior who was so visibly, shockingly different from his closest Earth relatives, He must have had an hugely important reason for it - which would naturally lead to some mention by folks who were endlessly laser focused on chronicling stuff God does.

Since half of Christ’s genetic makeup comes from his Father, whose ethnicity is unknown, all bets are off when it comes to what Christ actually looks like.

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9 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

Since half of Christ’s genetic makeup comes from his Father, whose ethnicity is unknown, all bets are off when it comes to what Christ actually looks like.

Casting him as white euro (w/o evidence) is a bet, a bad one.

Since we don't know with certainty, lets go with the most likely option and not one that would be fairly bizarre.

edit: If we are dead set on casting these folks with unlikely features, let's make Mary 6' with facial hair. Nothing says that can't be - so that's the reason we'd do that.

Edited by Chum
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21 hours ago, Fether said:

I have heard the notion that we (latter-day Saints) worship the wrong Jesus many times in my life. As I push that comment further, I have always found that it is entirely because we believe in the God head and not the trinity. I then follow up with the question “so salvation is not found in accepting Christ, or by his grace and mercy, or in the blood of Christ? But rather salvation is found through theological study of God and his nature and coming to a correct conclusion?”

To which I haven’t heard anything convincing or really all that informative.

So what is so important about believing in the trinity for traditional Christians? Many will say that if you don’t believe in the trinitarian nature, you are not only wrong, but at risk of damnation

One thing I have heard is without the trinity in LDS belief Jesus becomes a created being. Somehow that negates his godhood I guess.

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21 hours ago, Fether said:

So what is so important about believing in the trinity for traditional Christians? Many will say that if you don’t believe in the trinitarian nature, you are not only wrong, but at risk of damnation

1. For nearly two millennia Christian theism has defined God as necessarily and absolutely omnipotent. If one accepts this, then other attributes of God necessarily follow: God's omniscience, being uncreated, being singularly unique, inseparable, etc. However, if one also wants to accept the NT teachings of Christ that (A) Jesus is God and that (B) Jesus is not the Father, then really the only solution is something like the Trinity. Thus, to reject the Trinity is to either reject the absolute omnipotence of God or to reject the NT's teachings on JS's divinity and relationship to the Father. (Of course, one could just reject the absolute omnipotence of God as unscriptural, but to do so would also be rejecting God as God as been defined by Christian theism for nearly 2 millennia.)

2. The Trinity is the secret sauce to most Christian theories of Atonement, because the lawgiver, the judge, and the sacrificial offering are all the same Being. It's not one being demanding that another being suffer/die for the sins for the sins of others, but rather that same Being offering Himself up.

In short, the Trinity isn't some tangential doctrine for traditional Christianity, it is THE central doctrine of Christianity. It's the inexplicable miracle and mystery that makes God, Jesus, and atonement all possible. So when a traditional Christian (who understands the theology) says that a Mormon isn't a Christian, they are basically saying, "For two millennia, our identity as Christians has been centered around this one thing, and you reject that one thing. So, no, you aren't a Christian."

Edited by the narrator
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8 minutes ago, the narrator said:

2. The Trinity is the secret sauce to most Christian theories of Atonement, because the lawgiver, the judge, and the sacrificial offering are all the same Being. It's not one being demanding that another being suffer/die for the sins for the sins of others, but rather that same Being offering Himself up.

But all this is dependent on the "debt" theory of the atonement, which has major problems imo.

It depends on the need for a human sacrifice which somehow is supposed to balance "mercy and justice", through some unknowable mechanism which goes unquestioned in trying to understand what all this means.

But what if there was ONE person- whose personal sacrifice was not to "balance" by some totally vague interpretation - "justice" with "mercy"- that's two incomprehensible abstractions understood as if they are tangible and measurable commodities and one incomprehensible mechanism- supposedly paying for sin, all of which is supposedly made possible by human sacrifice. 

Yes that's a mystery all right!

 Let us instead see it as one being who made a different kind of sacrifice for a different purpose, the sacrifice of empathy and lowering oneself- a God- below the most lowly of his children and felt the worst pain they could feel so that they knew that One like themselves had already been through it all, and by under-going, they themselves have the opportunity of over-coming, as he did.

That being's sacrifice was to completely and totally give up Godhood - and "omnipotence" and all that it implies- voluntarily- to fully and completely understand the joys and miseries, temptations and triumphs of his children so that each of his chldren could know that there WAS a real being who could give them comfort in any possible situation since he/she had already done that, and overcame every pain both psychological and physical, and felt every joy possible, and so also providing a model showing that every sin, every pain, every heartache- every positive or negative experience humans were capable of having- had already been overcome by this hypothetical exemplar.   And so in those moments of terror and pain and insanity, we could know that ONE had already been through worse, and He was now capable of sharing the worst we can have with him as our brother, friend, father and beloved one.

And so we are freed from pain and guilt "after all we can do" through the grace of knowing that this omnipotent being gave it all up for each of us, through his "omni-empathetic love", the one and only "omni" we need, that still goes without acknowledgement    

And so by emulating this being they could know personally when they had done "all they can do" to repent of sins and problems that plagued them, and be mentally and physically healed and freed from the burden of guilt, and know in the case of physical or mental pain that One had been through more than they even had the capability to understand.

Like him then, by undergoing all, we can overcome all and be healed.   We can overcome the world and all the troubles and triumphs it has to give us as he has overcome the world, and thereby emulate him and eventually become like him.

As I see it, this paradigm avoids the need for a trinity of employees with different jobs and explains sacrifice without human sacrifice and places love and empathy at the center of the equation instead of justice balancing mercy through human sacrifice, which I find incomprehensible

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