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the trinity: asset, or liability?


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9 hours ago, modcat5 said:

I have a purpose for everything I say, why I say it, how come I say it, for what reason I say it, my motive in saying it and what I want to accomplish by saying it.

But do you have a purpose for everything you listen to?

Edited by Nathan_Jr
If any still believe VPW is a man of God, enjoy it while you can.
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Posted (edited)

quote: If any still believe VPW is a man of God, enjoy it while you can.

VPW is DEAD! 37 yrs and counting.

I believe he had a one of a kind ministry. Back in 1980 or so, the coordinator of the music group I was in said that VP was the 7th "THE man of God" and that this was very significant. I never heard that same message from anybody else and I'm not sure what it even means, but I do believe that VPs combination of gift ministries was unique, not cookie cutter. Nobody has duplicated the respect and impact he got from his people. LCM acted like he had automatically earned that respect, but he did not.

Chris Geer doesn't try to be the MOGFODAT; he just brokers classes and lets local leadership work without interference. He openly disagrees with more than 15 points of VPs doctrine. The fellowship I attend is very non invasive compared to twi even back in the "good old days".

As for VP, I think his teaching of incorruptible seed brought much deliverance to much people. Many church people to this day live in fear that their salvation could be 'foreclosed upon' at any time. Nice to know that isn't true. King David is the only person in the bible who is actually called a man after God's own heart, yet when he did what he did to Uriah the Hittite, the bible says the thing David did had displeased the Lord.

So it's possible to be a man after God's own heart and still have the capacity to displease the Lord. Same for us. (I assume most of you believe some of the things VP did displeased God) We can be sons of God and still displease the Lord. We're still born of incorruptible seed, we'll still be rewarded at the gathering together, same for VP.

VPs ministry changed my life. From my first twig to the present day. I will definitely enjoy that while I can.

Edited by johniam
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16 minutes ago, johniam said:

quote: If any still believe VPW is a man of God, enjoy it while you can.

VPW is DEAD! 37 yrs and counting.

I. . . 

VPW fell asleep.  He quit believing to live because others' balls dropped and his arms fatigued.

The Dead are NOT Alive, they are sleeping.  And when one awakens another and another and the town they will march forth against The Hedge of Protection unless the Watchers on The Hedge are diligent.  

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On 6/18/2022 at 1:01 PM, johniam said:

When the devil tempted Jesus, as recorded in both Matthew chapter 4 and in Luke chapter 4, he offered Jesus "all the kingdoms of this world and the glory of them". He further stated that those things belonged to him and that he could give them to whomever he wanted. If any of that had been false, Jesus would have called his bluff, but it was all true. If the devil never told the truth, then nobody would believe him about anything. He mixes just enough truth to feign plausibility, but, all the while, his intention is to deceive. He was however, free at this time, but that would change.

Now, while Jesus was still finishing the work that his Father gave him to do, he encountered people who willingly, yet unwittingly, functioned as mouth pieces for the devil. These people called him a "sinner". They called him a "deceiver". They said of him, "he is mad (crazy) and hath a devil". They said of him, "he is as one that perverteth the people". In short, the devil, at this time, wanted God's people to believe that Jesus was evil and deserving of death by crucifixion. That changed as well.

Now, after Jesus had finished the work that his Father gave him to do, he 1) was crucified  2) was raised from the dead  3)walked on the earth for 40 days after he was raised from the dead  4) on one occasion he was seen by 500 people after he was raised from the dead  5) he ascended into heaven  and 6) he poured out God's gift of holy spirit on the day of Pentecost with the result that ABOUT 3000 PEOPLE received eternal life.

This is ironic, because on the day that the law was given to Moses under the old covenant, ABOUT 3000 PEOPLE were put to death for worshipping a gold calf, an idol. On the day of Pentecost, at which time the new covenant became official, ABOUT 3000 PEOPLE were ordained unto eternal life. What about the devil?

He is no longer free. Prior to the day of Pentecost, he wanted God's people to believe that Jesus was evil. Since the day of Pentecost, he NOW wants God's people to believe that Jesus is God. Why would he change like that? He did a 180. He looks fickle. What's going on???

As I said, he is no longer free. He now has what amounts to an unpardonable death sentence, and he KNOWS it. He also knows that one day in the future (still future) one of his people will rise up to great power and authority over all the earth. Most Christians call this person 'the antichrist'. Technically, the bible doesn't ever call him 'the' antichrist; the bible says there are many antichrists and this person will just be one of the many. However, the bible Does call him the "man of sin". He is also called the "son of perdition". It is said of him that he will "oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God" and he will "sit in the temple of God showing himself that HE IS GOD". AHA! The antichrist is going to be a man who SAYS he's God.

All those idiots and fools will believe him, in small part because of the 'lying signs and wonders' he will do, and in much larger part because of the trinity. Many of those people will figure that if God came as a man once, then He could do it again. The trinity promotes the belief that God came as a man once. The trinity is the welcoming committee and the public relations machine for the antichrist. The trinity is a perpetual reminder that..."Haleluia, the antichrist is coming".

In the old testament (Numbers 21) serpents were biting people in Israel and many people died. God instructed Moses to make a brass serpent and lift it up on a pole, so that if any body was bitten by one of these serpents and they looked at the brass serpent on the pole, they would live and not die. Approximately 1000 years later, king Hezekiah broke in pieces the brass serpent that Moses made because some people in Israel were worshipping that brass serpent as an idol. 

God instructed Moses to make the brass serpent, and it saved lives, but God NEVER intended for that serpent to be worshipped as an idol. In John 3:14 Jesus is speaking. He says, "and as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up". It is very significant that Jesus made a point of directly comparing Himself with that same brass serpent which Moses made. God sent Jesus to save us from our sins, and he has already save many lives for all eternity, but God NEVER intended for Jesus to be worshipped as an idol.

Once again, the trinity is both the welcoming committee and the public relations machine for the antichrist. It is a perpetual reminder that..."haleluia, the antichrist is coming". No Christian should want anything to do with supporting something like that.

God's love is perpetual. God gave every one the same capacity to make our own choices. God will never force anyone to choose, believe, or do anything. If any still want to believe that a man is God, enjoy it while you can. 

 

On 6/21/2022 at 2:23 AM, johniam said:

quote: This is a logical fallacy. How do you know what his motives were and how do you know what he wanted people to believe? Chapter and verse please.

2 Cor. 2:11 - Lest satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Luke 22:31 - And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.

John 14:12 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

We are not ignorant of satan's devices, Jesus knew what satan wanted, and he said we could too. The reason you don't believe that us "lowly Christians" can do the works Jesus did is because you think He's God!

 

50 minutes ago, johniam said:

quote: If any still believe VPW is a man of God, enjoy it while you can.

VPW is DEAD! 37 yrs and counting.

I believe he had a one of a kind ministry. Back in 1980 or so, the coordinator of the music group I was in said that VP was the 7th "THE man of God" and that this was very significant. I never heard that same message from anybody else and I'm not sure what it even means, but I do believe that VPs combination of gift ministries was unique, not cookie cutter. Nobody has duplicated the respect and impact he got from his people. LCM acted like he had automatically earned that respect, but he did not.

Chris Geer doesn't try to be the MOGFODAT; he just brokers classes and lets local leadership work without interference. He openly disagrees with more than 15 points of VPs doctrine. The fellowship I attend is very non invasive compared to twi even back in the "good old days".

As for VP, I think his teaching of incorruptible seed brought much deliverance to much people. Many church people to this day live in fear that their salvation could be 'foreclosed upon' at any time. Nice to know that isn't true. King David is the only person in the bible who is actually called a man after God's own heart, yet when he did what he did to Uriah the Hittite, the bible says the thing David did had displeased the Lord.

So it's possible to be a man after God's own heart and still have the capacity to displease the Lord. Same for us. (I assume most of you believe some of the things VP did displeased God) We can be sons of God and still displease the Lord. We're still born of incorruptible seed, we'll still be rewarded at the gathering together, same for VP.

VPs ministry changed my life. From my first twig to the present day. I will definitely enjoy that while I can.

 Interesting – this may qualify as another one of those bait-and-switch threads. I thought it was going to be a thoughtful discussion of the doctrine of the Trinity and its relevance to the end times …but after considering the actual content of these posts I’m inclined to think it’s more of a wierwille-PFAL-fan-club-thread – a cool excuse to rehash wierwille’s ideology - whoopee !!!!

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7 hours ago, johniam said:

the coordinator of the music group I was in said that VP was the 7th "THE man of God" and that this was very significant. I never heard that same message from anybody else and I'm not sure what it even means

...wait...WHAT? ....hold the farm!.... your music coordinator said it? Well, shoot! Why didn't you just say so in the first place?

 

7 hours ago, johniam said:

Nobody has duplicated the respect and impact he got from his people.

NOBODY? Whew....Thank God!  What kind of impact did he get from his people? Sorry for the awkward phrasing - your sentence. Victor had a way with with words, too. 
 

7 hours ago, johniam said:

LCM acted like he had automatically earned that respect, but he did not.

 

Don't forget, victor trained Loy up in HOW (H-O-W). Loy did what he was taught, because you can't go beyond what you were taught. And Victor ANOINTED Loy's head with oil. With OIL. Anointed. His head. I just don't know how else to say it. 

 

7 hours ago, johniam said:

He openly disagrees with more than 15 points of VPs doctrine.

This is a good start, though not hard to do.

 

7 hours ago, johniam said:

As for VP, I think his teaching of incorruptible seed brought much deliverance to much people.

Incorruptible seed is not a doctrine unique to victor. But getting born again of serpent seed - that might be unique. 
 

7 hours ago, johniam said:

So it's possible to be a man after God's own heart and still have the capacity to displease the Lord.

You're comparing victor to King David and making an assumption victor is after God's own heart? It requires a bluntness of spiritual perception to make this leap. This can happen to anyone whose spiritual perception has been dulled by repetitive rubbing.

 

7 hours ago, johniam said:

I assume most of you believe some of the things VP did displeased God)

Not SOME of the things. MOST. Most of the things victor did displeased God. Unless, of course, you mean the god of this world, then, yeah, only some.

 

7 hours ago, johniam said:

VPs ministry changed my life. From my first twig to the present day.

His "ministry" changed many lives by misleading, by stealing, killing, and destroying.

 

ENJOY!

 

Edited by Nathan_Jr
While you can
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I read the original post to be asking and exploring whether the Trinity doctrine has been a net asset or liability to Christianity, its purpose, mission and spread.

And that's a profound question. I eventually came to the conclusion that the Trinity doctrine gives its believers an advantage in appreciating the Lordship of Christ, while rejecting the doctrine gave us an advantage in appreciating his faithfulness, obedience, commitment and sacrifice. I'm not impressed by a sinless God. I am impressed by a sinless man.

I can say I certainly found it easier to believe Jesus was a man than that he was God. Too much didn't make sense, and I have to wonder how many people over the centuries have rejected Christ in their hearts because its central claim, that God became a man, was so absurd.

But you could say that about a lot of beliefs. The virgin birth, for example (or virgin conception). The Great Flood. Lots of beliefs. Is the Trinity really that different?

Of course, Johniam's question is also a spiritual one. He sees the trinity as spiritually harmful to those who believe it. So to agree with him is to reject the trinity, and you must disagree with him if you embrace the Trinity.

Is it an asset or liability? Does believing it make you a better Christian or does it hinder your walk? Well, that depends, doesn't it? 

I believe the earliest Christians were not Trinitarian. Paul gives us a Jesus who is subservient to the Father. In fact, Paul speaks nothing at all about Jesus' earthly ministry [the last supper being the only real exception]. Paul is much more concerned about the spiritual aspect of Christ's ministry, the "principalities and powers" behind what took place on Earth. Jesus wasn't crucified by the Jews, the Romans, or Pilate. He was executed by "the princes of this world," which is not a reference to human beings. 

What's interesting, then, is that the Christ of this spiritual storyline is referred to as "the firstborn of all creation," which can be interpreted a number of ways. The way most consistent with TWI Christology is that Jesus was first... not chronologically, but in order of importance. 

But other Christians take it literally. Jesus being the firstborn of all creation, to the Jehovah's Witnesses, means that he was the first being created by God, and the agent by which God created everything else. Yahweh and Son, from the beginning. 

To Trinitarians, that is not a creation of Jesus but a begetting, and it's something that happened before there was any such thing as time. It's not something that can be explained. Just accepted. So there.

So what's all this mean?

I believe it demonstrates that the New Testament tells two separate Jesus Christ stories. One is down to earth, and the other is, for lack of a better word, cosmic.

It becomes easy to see why the early church couldn't settle on his identity. The two stories are not compatible except when one is recognized as metaphorical from a human perspective. Unless he really is God or the first creation of God.

Obviously I'm in no position to answer whether the doctrine has helped or hindered God's plan. I think BOTH stories are made up, one largely and the other entirely. But I am fascinated by the exploration of the question.

Enjoy.

 

 

While you can.

Edited by Raf
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Since another important biblical subject has mixed into this thread. I am writing now about this important subject. To be a leader in the body of Christ being service oriented is needed and required according to Jesus Christ in his earthly life. I saw the problem with the hierarchy of church leadership in the 1980s and when I met Victor Wierwille at an event in one of the south east states, I figuratively explained this to him by meeting him and then telling him, “you look familiar, but I cannot remember your name, but it sounds something like wear something”. Perhaps Wierwille then saw the problem with this because he was not the main leader of TWI then, with him passing the leadership to perhaps Craig Martindale. So Wierwille then replied to me with the name “werewolf”, which is an animal so we then laughed and Wierwille was with his best friend. Then I apologized to him for not calling him werewolf. Then we may have laughed again. One of the reasons that Victor Wierwille saw this problem near the end of his life, because he perhaps heard that his son was criticized at a meeting at the Rock of Ages, perhaps by Craig Martindale. Then I raised my voice while explaining to them that there was no need to criticize this son as long as he was service oriented. He could perhaps be a leader also and I reminded them that Wierwille’s son was perhaps not a leader in TWI. I then may have reminded them that any church leader should primarily be service oriented to help followers of Jesus Christ. Perhaps Victor Wierwille heard about the accusing of his son with me defending his son and perhaps again explaining to them that any church leader should primarily be service oriented. After this in the late 1980s, I wrote the first draft of one of the chapters of my biblical teaching book with the title: “Lordship of Jesus Christ Contrasting the Lordship of Imperfect Man”.  With more editing, this is the fourth chapter of my biblical teaching book

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So, it’s gone from About the Way forum to doctrinal forum…now we need a Kool-Aid testimonial forum…whatever.
it’s hilarious how much diehard-wierwille-fans keep pushing that idle idol. There’s no use in logical debate of doctrine and Scripture interpretation with them cuz if wierwille said it – they believe it – that settles it. What’s up with that? I wonder if that’s why diehard-wierwille-fans change the topic when the discussion deviates from the PFAL-script.

Maybe it’s that love is blind principle. Perhaps some folks love wierwille so much, they’re blind to his crimes against logic, Scripture, and morality. 


I think wierwille’s teaching on anything was dubious. What a shyster! I wouldn’t believe anything he had to say about salvation cuz he lived like the devil – and was proud of it. wierwille was probably the foremost authority on cheap grace…easy-believism…Think about it – wierwille was an unabashed plagiarist, a pathological liar, a sexual predator, a money-grubbing-fame-hound, a megalomaniac, a malignant narcissist, a chain-smoking, Drambuie-guzzling, delusional closet-Gnostic, a master at pontification, with a God-complex. Actions speak louder than pulpiteering


for anyone interested there’s a much more thoughtful, deep discussion that looks at all of Scripture and not just wierwille’s proof-texting – it’s a thread by Grease Spotters in doctrinal >  Can salvation be lost
also see: 
Got Questions: easy believism

Got Questions: cheap grace

Why is it diehard-wierwille-fans have to keep bringing up this comparison: “David was called a man after God’s own heart and think about some of the bad stuff he did!” oh please…did you ever wonder why David could be considered a man after God’s own heart?  two things that stand out real big – Scripture shows David to be genuinely repentant and he was always gung-ho to do what God wanted him to do. 
see  Man after God’s own heart

~ ~ ~ ~ 


Let’s compare:
Was wierwille repentant?

There is beaucoup of anecdotal evidence that wierwille was an unabashed plagiarist, a pathological liar, a sexual predator, a money-grubbing-fame-hound, a megalomaniac, a malignant narcissist, a chain-smoking, Drambuie-guzzling, delusional closet-Gnostic, a master at pontification, with a God-complex. Maybe he could be considered the exact opposite of someone who was repentant or a godly leader like David…wierwille was a repeat offender on a wide variety of willful violations of Scriptural and moral principles.


Did wierwille  do what God wanted him to do?

Let’s think about that in light of what he said to Whiteside in the TWI-authorized book “The Way: Living in Love”… on page 178 wierwille stated   “I was praying. And I told Father outright that He could have the whole thing, unless there were real genuine answers that I wouldn't ever have to back up on. And that's when He spoke to me audibly, just like I'm talking to you now. He said He would teach me the Word as it had not been known since the first century if I would teach it to others. Well, I nearly flew off my chair. I couldn't believe that God would talk to me.”  And on page 209 of Whiteside’s book wierwille comments on the content of what he teaches: “Lots of the stuff I teach is not original. Putting it all together so that it fit – that was the original work. I learned wherever I could, and then worked that with the Scriptures. What was right on with the Scriptures, I kept; but what wasn’t, I dropped.” 


All this is nonsensical delusions of grandeur as well as an outright admission of bigtime plagiarism. it is worth noting that Christians back in the 1st century had no Bible…the New Testament had not been written and the Septuagint was not circulated.  
See   Wikipedia – dating the Bible


There’s beaucoup threads on Grease Spot that have analyzed many aspects of PFAL.

If God taught wierwille “the word” why are there so many errors, contradictions, unscriptural ideologies and logical fallacies in PFAL?  

also see:   

actual errors in PFAL

More blatant errors in PFAL

PFAL errors even deeper do do

The subtle thread which runs throughout pfal

Is PLAF theopneustos god-breathed?

The "Second Wave" of returning to PFAL has started

Power for Abundant Living Today™

    

Amazing some diehard-wierwille-fans still believe wierwille’s bull$hit… I wonder why they think it carries any weight in doctrinal? Oh well, enjoy it while they can.
 

Edited by T-Bone
the 2nd edit of this post has already started...millions now smoking crack
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10 hours ago, Raf said:

I read the original post to be asking and exploring whether the Trinity doctrine has been a net asset or liability to Christianity, its purpose, mission and spread.

And that's a profound question. I eventually came to the conclusion that the Trinity doctrine gives its believers an advantage in appreciating the Lordship of Christ, while rejecting the doctrine gave us an advantage in appreciating his faithfulness, obedience, commitment and sacrifice. I'm not impressed by a sinless God. I am impressed by a sinless man.

I can say I certainly found it easier to believe Jesus was a man than that he was God. Too much didn't make sense, and I have to wonder how many people over the centuries have rejected Christ in their hearts because its central claim, that God became a man, was so absurd.

But you could say that about a lot of beliefs. The virgin birth, for example (or virgin conception). The Great Flood. Lots of beliefs. Is the Trinity really that different?

Of course, Johniam's question is also a spiritual one. He sees the trinity as spiritually harmful to those who believe it. So to agree with him is to reject the trinity, and you must disagree with him if you embrace the Trinity.

Is it an asset or liability? Does believing it make you a better Christian or does it hinder your walk? Well, that depends, doesn't it? 

I believe the earliest Christians were not Trinitarian. Paul gives us a Jesus who is subservient to the Father. In fact, Paul speaks nothing at all about Jesus' earthly ministry [the last supper being the only real exception]. Paul is much more concerned about the spiritual aspect of Christ's ministry, the "principalities and powers" behind what took place on Earth. Jesus wasn't crucified by the Jews, the Romans, or Pilate. He was executed by "the princes of this world," which is not a reference to human beings. 

What's interesting, then, is that the Christ of this spiritual storyline is referred to as "the firstborn of all creation," which can be interpreted a number of ways. The way most consistent with TWI Christology is that Jesus was first... not chronologically, but in order of importance. 

But other Christians take it literally. Jesus being the firstborn of all creation, to the Jehovah's Witnesses, means that he was the first being created by God, and the agent by which God created everything else. Yahweh and Son, from the beginning. 

To Trinitarians, that is not a creation of Jesus but a begetting, and it's something that happened before there was any such thing as time. It's not something that can be explained. Just accepted. So there.

So what's all this mean?

I believe it demonstrates that the New Testament tells two separate Jesus Christ stories. One is down to earth, and the other is, for lack of a better word, cosmic.

It becomes easy to see why the early church couldn't settle on his identity. The two stories are not compatible except when one is recognized as metaphorical from a human perspective. Unless he really is God or the first creation of God.

Obviously I'm in no position to answer whether the doctrine has helped or hindered God's plan. I think BOTH stories are made up, one largely and the other entirely. But I am fascinated by the exploration of the question.

Enjoy.

 

 

While you can.

Raf, that’s a very thoughtful post and thanks for getting back to exploring the consequences (good or bad) of Trinity doctrine. 

I agree, the first Christians were not Trinitarians. There were no Christian theologians. Christianity wasn’t a thing yet. I think deconstructing Christianity will take one back to the  narratives of the Gospels – and in my opinion, to the Jewish people at the time it seemed to be an anomaly of their religion  - centered around what we would refer to today as a cult of personality – and it was the person of Jesus Christ. 

The simple message in the evangelistic efforts in Acts was that this Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Jewish “Bible” i.e., the Old Testament, and that he was crucified, died and now resurrected and exalted as Lord. 


the Gospels and Acts are like the real time process of the beginning of Christianity. the epistles were written much later and rather than being somewhat action-packed like the Gospels and Acts – they are more cerebral. Maybe they reflect a maturing in the faith…an evolving of the experiential learning from Gospels and Acts. The simple message got more complex – reinterpreting Old Testament stuff and branching off into new and different topics.

To me the epistles are like a retrospective of Gospels/Acts. Like when someone writes a book about the 60s, it might show culturally how we got from there to here.  a millennial reading the book might not get as much a sense of the 60s as someone who grew up in the 60s…Maybe we’re missing a lot across the time/cultural divide of the 1st century. But wouldn’t God take that into account? How could He bridge the gap? Is that the purpose of the Holy Spirit?

I don’t think Paul or any of the New Testament writers had formed Trinitarian concepts. I subscribe to the limited inspiration theory of how the Bible was written.  God inspired the thoughts of the biblical writers, but not necessarily the words they chose. He gave them freedom to express those thoughts in their own style. But God’s incommunicable attributes (like omnipotence, transcendence, omniscience, etc.) cannot be conveyed to us. But I think it is in our nature to try and make sense of everything. This was touched on earlier in this thread – wanting to have a deity we can manage. Perhaps the writers of the NT docs tried to do the best they could to articulate mind-blowing otherworldly stuff…heap superlatives upon superlatives when it comes to describing the exalted Christ. It says Christ is the image of the invisible God. What does that really mean? Historically theology just gets more and more complex by building on what came before. Nomenclature is a fascinating thing. What’s the relation of this to this to that? I don’t know. Let’s call it a Trinity.


I’m used to thinking like a technician. Everything must be explainable. I get into these weird thoughtful fantasies – like if I were a technical consultant to a screenplay writer, what would the origin story of a God/man consist of? So if I’m trying to sell this to Marvel Studios – I say look  God is gonna have a kid but not the normal way like we do – picture a being from another dimension having a one night stand with a cute Jewish girl. Everything about this child is kinda normal except there’s something different about his DNA. His brain is like a sponge but it can only hold so much data. The Omniscient Dad can give the kid updates on an as-needed basis by…let’s call it ether-net…or ether for short – it’s atmosphere – like air…wind…some trans-dimensional conduit. This is kind of the silly irreverent way I get myself to meditate on metaphysical stuff sometimes. Weird and dumb – I know. But that’s how I wrap my head around something this strange and otherworldly. 


Which brings me to how I relate to the Trinity. Which as you pointed out is a profound question. I appreciate the Lord Jesus Christ as a unique being – he’s even more different than me in his resurrected body. But he’s someone I can relate to – but he’s not God almighty to me. He’s my big brother. It’s funny when I was in TWI, I never thought much about Jesus Christ and God the Father seemed so far away.  I was a kid separated from my dad and older brother. But having left TWI – I got back into enjoying the Gospels. It was like Jesus Christ was my older brother returning from Vietnam. He’s been through hell and back and he’s got so much to share with me and inspire me to be a good soldier.

Unfortunately, dad is still far away. I just don’t know how to relate to my dad. He seems too big and maybe even a little terrifying. Why couldn’t He have made things more apparent…But my big brother – he’s cool. He understands me and I understand him. Don’t ask me how I know this – but I have a hunch that dad doesn’t mind me thinking a lot more about my older brother than Him. 


Where is the Holy Spirit in this arrangement? Don’t know. This is really weird cuz the Bible says the Holy Spirit dwells in me. Maybe that’s the ethernet connecting me to Jesus Christ and God.  I want technical manuals…diagrams and flow charts that explain all this. I don't want a quicky Tik Tok...I want a full 8 hour You Tube WITH NO ADS explaining a few things...doesn't have to be everything...just the really really important stuff - like where the Easter Bunny came from.     :biglaugh:
 

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You make the assumption that the stories of the gospels were widely known. I submit they were not. Paul makes no reference to them at all, save the last supper. Some scholars genuinely believe he did not know the story of Judas' betrayal [which is a much simpler explanation for "he was seen of Cephas, then of the 12" than the tortured logic VPW used to prove Judas was alive and forgiven/brought back into the fold after the resurrection].

This would be its own thread and would venture into some fascinating territory, but bear with me:

The gospels were not written first, and there is only the tiniest indication that Paul was aware of them. His church epistles were written first, and in them he is adamant that the gospel he's sharing came from God through Christ, not through what he learned from the other big shots in the church.

This makes painfully little sense, no matter how many times you read it.

Everything Paul describes about the life, death, sacrifice and resurrection of Christ is described from the spiritual perspective [the firstborn of all creation is crucified by the princes of this world, not Mary's son executed for insurrection by a church-state collusion after a sham of a trial]. 

It's only after Paul writes the epistles, at the earliest, that Mark sets out to write the first gospel. I think it's apparent that the original ending to Mark's gospel is lost. The ones we have are clearly fabricated, but without them the gospel stops almost mid-thought.

Point is, the biography of Jesus, at least in writing, is spread years after the spiritual account of what happened spiritually.

Acts can't help us because it is written after the epistles and after three of the gospels.

And John's gospel introduces anecdotes whose omission from the first three gospels is utterly baffling. You mean to tell me none of the previous writers found the raising of Lazarus worth mentioning? Come on.

My belief (which of course is not going to get far in this particular forum) is that the gospel accounts are a fictionalized version of what took place, designed to flesh out the background of the important part of the story: the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ. Mark tries to place Paul's Christ back into history, but by the time he writes it has become difficult to sort out which stories are [even allegedly] true and which are clearly made up. There are LOTS of stories. Mark doesn't trust or use them all. Matthew gives us a Jesus who won't shut up but won't just blurt out who and what he is. Luke does the same but changes the order and gives us a different [incompatible] birth story. Then John gives us a Jesus who won't shut up about who He is and what He means.

For me, the question is: How much of the gospel Jesus is an actual historical figure, and how much of him is historical fiction? Was he born in Bethlehem (unlikely)? Was he from Nazareth (very likely)? Did he cause a disturbance at the Temple over profiteering (probably)? Do the gospels describe it accurately (almost certainly not)? Did he claim to be a messianic figure (probably)? Did he claim to be One with the Father, the Bread of Life, the Way, the Truth and the Life? Honestly, it's hard to imagine he said all those things and NONE of the first three gospel writers found it worth mentioning. 

John has taken Paul's Christ and the synoptic Christ and tried to fuse the two stories into one.

It should be noted that while these narratives are being constructed, so are many others that were later rejected. A good percentage are just made up stories (some of them are doozies). 

I understand that in this forum we are taking faith for granted, but I still think it's helpful to understand that the gospels did not write themselves in a vacuum. Competing Christologies were the norm in the first century. There was no singular first century church that fractured. There were a bunch of competing churches that coalesced (or at least tried to). 

The ones that held Jesus to be "one" with the Creator God Yahweh eventually won out and did its damnedest to destroy any evidence of its competitors. Sure, we call them heresies now. But back then they were all on equal footing.

Did the Trinity doctrine help or hinder? Historically? I don't think it did either. I think it just won (and not fair and square).

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31 minutes ago, Raf said:

. . .

The ones that held Jesus to be "one" with the Creator God Yahweh eventually won out and did its damnedest to destroy any evidence of its competitors. Sure, we call them heresies now. But back then they were all on equal footing.

Did the Trinity doctrine help or hinder? Historically? I don't think it did either. I think it just won (and not fair and square).

Is there a reason you use Yahweh?  God in this context is a merger of Yahweh and El, right?  And maybe some others?

The Trinity seems logical in that it is the continuation of a process.  This time adding in Christ.

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14 minutes ago, Bolshevik said:

Is there a reason you use Yahweh?  God in this context is a merger of Yahweh and El, right?  And maybe some others?

The Trinity seems logical in that it is the continuation of a process.  This time adding in Christ.

Yahweh was one of El's sons early in the pantheon, right? They became one and the same over time. Gods are always changing, evolving, it seems. And humans are developing their understanding over time. Monotheism is relatively late in Judaism - it developed over time, like the Christology of the early church. 

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12 hours ago, T-Bone said:

. . .
Where is the Holy Spirit in this arrangement? Don’t know. . . .
 

Disney had Pinocchio with Geppetto, a cricket, and a fairy. 

Geppetto wanted a son.  The cricket's initials were JC.  That leaves the Fairy.

If God is technically neither and both genders, and neither old nor young, he'd embody aspects of each?

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8 minutes ago, Nathan_Jr said:

Yahweh was one of El's sons early in the pantheon, right? They became one and the same over time. Gods are always changing, evolving, it seems. And humans are developing their understanding over time. Monotheism is relatively late in Judaism - it developed over time, like the Christology of the early church. 

I wonder about the first sentient being, sometime long after life began on earth . . . maybe it meets another being and asks, "You can see me??"  And the other points out there's no historical basis for that idea, or language to communicate such things.

 

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47 minutes ago, Bolshevik said:

Is there a reason you use Yahweh?  God in this context is a merger of Yahweh and El, right?  And maybe some others?

The Trinity seems logical in that it is the continuation of a process.  This time adding in Christ.

Yahweh is the proper name of the Old Testament God. I use it interchangeably with Elohim, which is a title, not a name. I don't use Adonai because it is an even less specific title than Elohim. 

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8 minutes ago, Raf said:

Yahweh is the proper name of the Old Testament God. I use it interchangeably with Elohim, which is a title, not a name. I don't use Adonai because it is an even less specific title than Elohim. 

cool, 

this is along the lines of what I normally hear:

http://contradictionsinthebible.com/are-yahweh-and-el-the-same-god/

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Just now, modcat5 said:

I'll make sure to read that, but I don't want to go off topic.

It relates in that "The Trinity" can be considered another iteration of merging of gods.  The Son takes the Place of the Father.  Story old as time.

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4 hours ago, Raf said:

You make the assumption that the stories of the gospels were widely known. I submit they were not. Paul makes no reference to them at all, save the last supper. Some scholars genuinely believe he did not know the story of Judas' betrayal [which is a much simpler explanation for "he was seen of Cephas, then of the 12" than the tortured logic VPW used to prove Judas was alive and forgiven/brought back into the fold after the resurrection].

This would be its own thread and would venture into some fascinating territory, but bear with me:

The gospels were not written first, and there is only the tiniest indication that Paul was aware of them. His church epistles were written first, and in them he is adamant that the gospel he's sharing came from God through Christ, not through what he learned from the other big shots in the church.

This makes painfully little sense, no matter how many times you read it.

Everything Paul describes about the life, death, sacrifice and resurrection of Christ is described from the spiritual perspective [the firstborn of all creation is crucified by the princes of this world, not Mary's son executed for insurrection by a church-state collusion after a sham of a trial]. 

It's only after Paul writes the epistles, at the earliest, that Mark sets out to write the first gospel. I think it's apparent that the original ending to Mark's gospel is lost. The ones we have are clearly fabricated, but without them the gospel stops almost mid-thought.

Point is, the biography of Jesus, at least in writing, is spread years after the spiritual account of what happened spiritually.

Acts can't help us because it is written after the epistles and after three of the gospels.

And John's gospel introduces anecdotes whose omission from the first three gospels is utterly baffling. You mean to tell me none of the previous writers found the raising of Lazarus worth mentioning? Come on.

My belief (which of course is not going to get far in this particular forum) is that the gospel accounts are a fictionalized version of what took place, designed to flesh out the background of the important part of the story: the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ. Mark tries to place Paul's Christ back into history, but by the time he writes it has become difficult to sort out which stories are [even allegedly] true and which are clearly made up. There are LOTS of stories. Mark doesn't trust or use them all. Matthew gives us a Jesus who won't shut up but won't just blurt out who and what he is. Luke does the same but changes the order and gives us a different [incompatible] birth story. Then John gives us a Jesus who won't shut up about who He is and what He means.

For me, the question is: How much of the gospel Jesus is an actual historical figure, and how much of him is historical fiction? Was he born in Bethlehem (unlikely)? Was he from Nazareth (very likely)? Did he cause a disturbance at the Temple over profiteering (probably)? Do the gospels describe it accurately (almost certainly not)? Did he claim to be a messianic figure (probably)? Did he claim to be One with the Father, the Bread of Life, the Way, the Truth and the Life? Honestly, it's hard to imagine he said all those things and NONE of the first three gospel writers found it worth mentioning. 

John has taken Paul's Christ and the synoptic Christ and tried to fuse the two stories into one.

It should be noted that while these narratives are being constructed, so are many others that were later rejected. A good percentage are just made up stories (some of them are doozies). 

I understand that in this forum we are taking faith for granted, but I still think it's helpful to understand that the gospels did not write themselves in a vacuum. Competing Christologies were the norm in the first century. There was no singular first century church that fractured. There were a bunch of competing churches that coalesced (or at least tried to). 

The ones that held Jesus to be "one" with the Creator God Yahweh eventually won out and did its damnedest to destroy any evidence of its competitors. Sure, we call them heresies now. But back then they were all on equal footing.

Did the Trinity doctrine help or hinder? Historically? I don't think it did either. I think it just won (and not fair and square).

 

15 hours ago, T-Bone said:

Raf, that’s a very thoughtful post and thanks for getting back to exploring the consequences (good or bad) of Trinity doctrine. 

I agree, the first Christians were not Trinitarians. There were no Christian theologians. Christianity wasn’t a thing yet. I think deconstructing Christianity will take one back to the  narratives of the Gospels – and in my opinion, to the Jewish people at the time it seemed to be an anomaly of their religion  - centered around what we would refer to today as a cult of personality – and it was the person of Jesus Christ. 

The simple message in the evangelistic efforts in Acts was that this Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Jewish “Bible” i.e., the Old Testament, and that he was crucified, died and now resurrected and exalted as Lord. 


the Gospels and Acts are like the real time process of the beginning of Christianity. the epistles were written much later and rather than being somewhat action-packed like the Gospels and Acts – they are more cerebral. Maybe they reflect a maturing in the faith…an evolving of the experiential learning from Gospels and Acts. The simple message got more complex – reinterpreting Old Testament stuff and branching off into new and different topics.

To me the epistles are like a retrospective of Gospels/Acts. Like when someone writes a book about the 60s, it might show culturally how we got from there to here.  a millennial reading the book might not get as much a sense of the 60s as someone who grew up in the 60s…Maybe we’re missing a lot across the time/cultural divide of the 1st century. But wouldn’t God take that into account? How could He bridge the gap? Is that the purpose of the Holy Spirit?

I don’t think Paul or any of the New Testament writers had formed Trinitarian concepts. I subscribe to the limited inspiration theory of how the Bible was written.  God inspired the thoughts of the biblical writers, but not necessarily the words they chose. He gave them freedom to express those thoughts in their own style. But God’s incommunicable attributes (like omnipotence, transcendence, omniscience, etc.) cannot be conveyed to us. But I think it is in our nature to try and make sense of everything. This was touched on earlier in this thread – wanting to have a deity we can manage. Perhaps the writers of the NT docs tried to do the best they could to articulate mind-blowing otherworldly stuff…heap superlatives upon superlatives when it comes to describing the exalted Christ. It says Christ is the image of the invisible God. What does that really mean? Historically theology just gets more and more complex by building on what came before. Nomenclature is a fascinating thing. What’s the relation of this to this to that? I don’t know. Let’s call it a Trinity.


I’m used to thinking like a technician. Everything must be explainable. I get into these weird thoughtful fantasies – like if I were a technical consultant to a screenplay writer, what would the origin story of a God/man consist of? So if I’m trying to sell this to Marvel Studios – I say look  God is gonna have a kid but not the normal way like we do – picture a being from another dimension having a one night stand with a cute Jewish girl. Everything about this child is kinda normal except there’s something different about his DNA. His brain is like a sponge but it can only hold so much data. The Omniscient Dad can give the kid updates on an as-needed basis by…let’s call it ether-net…or ether for short – it’s atmosphere – like air…wind…some trans-dimensional conduit. This is kind of the silly irreverent way I get myself to meditate on metaphysical stuff sometimes. Weird and dumb – I know. But that’s how I wrap my head around something this strange and otherworldly. 


Which brings me to how I relate to the Trinity. Which as you pointed out is a profound question. I appreciate the Lord Jesus Christ as a unique being – he’s even more different than me in his resurrected body. But he’s someone I can relate to – but he’s not God almighty to me. He’s my big brother. It’s funny when I was in TWI, I never thought much about Jesus Christ and God the Father seemed so far away.  I was a kid separated from my dad and older brother. But having left TWI – I got back into enjoying the Gospels. It was like Jesus Christ was my older brother returning from Vietnam. He’s been through hell and back and he’s got so much to share with me and inspire me to be a good soldier.

Unfortunately, dad is still far away. I just don’t know how to relate to my dad. He seems too big and maybe even a little terrifying. Why couldn’t He have made things more apparent…But my big brother – he’s cool. He understands me and I understand him. Don’t ask me how I know this – but I have a hunch that dad doesn’t mind me thinking a lot more about my older brother than Him. 


Where is the Holy Spirit in this arrangement? Don’t know. This is really weird cuz the Bible says the Holy Spirit dwells in me. Maybe that’s the ethernet connecting me to Jesus Christ and God.  I want technical manuals…diagrams and flow charts that explain all this. I don't want a quicky Tik Tok...I want a full 8 hour You Tube WITH NO ADS explaining a few things...doesn't have to be everything...just the really really important stuff - like where the Easter Bunny came from.     :biglaugh:
 

 

Let me clarify a few things I’ve said in that post…which was raw and unfiltered, and I understand how you could think that of me. I’ve already stated in another post dating the Bible    and have also said elsewhere on Grease Spot ( here       and  here   ) that I was aware of the Gospels being written as well as compiled much later than most of the letters. You can chalk up the anachronisms to my poor writing skills and not reviewing it for clarity.

I wrote this:
“the Gospels and Acts are like the real time process of the beginning of Christianity. the epistles were written much later and rather than being somewhat action-packed like the Gospels and Acts – they are more cerebral. Maybe they reflect a maturing in the faith…an evolving of the experiential learning from Gospels and Acts. The simple message got more complex – reinterpreting Old Testament stuff and branching off into new and different topics.

To me the epistles are like a retrospective of Gospels/Acts. Like when someone writes a book about the 60s, it might show culturally how we got from there to here.

~ ~ ~ ~

What I meant to convey was the idea that for US  at  this PRESENT TIME,    READING   the New Testament as a LINEAR storyline – we see the character arc – how over time the believers changed and matured in their faith…I did not mean to suggest the Gospels/Acts were WRITTEN in real time AS THEY HAPPENED.  

I thought I was pretty clear in saying “…to ME the epistles are like a RETROSPECTIVE of Gospels/Acts.” That’s me peering through the theologically concentrated filter of the letters to better understand the development of Christianity - "the origin story" narrative of Gospels/Acts …well…so much for my writing skills and unleashing a raw and unfiltered post.

I agree with you on several points:  the NT docs were not written in vacuum and that there were competing Christologies. Even in the Gospels there’s mention of some group driving out demons in Christ’s name, but they were not a part of the disciples – and it appears Jesus was cool with that  Mark 9: 38 - 40 . 

I’m also with you on this point: “Did the Trinity doctrine help or hinder? Historically? I don't think it did either. I think it just won (and not fair and square).” I think the concept of the Trinity is one way many theologians have attempted to unpack the mysterious and complex relationship of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Why it’s the dominant term in nomenclature of most systematic theologies - who can say…maybe looking into historical ecclesiastical politics at the intersection of multiple cultures might be revealing.
 

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a long time ago in an editing room far far away
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1 hour ago, Bolshevik said:

Disney had Pinocchio with Geppetto, a cricket, and a fairy. 

Geppetto wanted a son.  The cricket's initials were JC.  That leaves the Fairy.

If God is technically neither and both genders, and neither old nor young, he'd embody aspects of each?

Yeah…that’s a heavy question…don’t know…as I said earlier - I subscribe to the limited inspiration theory of how the Bible was written.  God inspired the thoughts of the biblical writers, but not necessarily the words they chose…in the Bible, God is referenced as a “He”. Did God indicate to them that He wanted to be referred to as a “he”? Was it an assumption on the part of the writers living in a male-dominated culture? ...don't know...

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4 minutes ago, T-Bone said:

Yeah…that’s a heavy question…don’t know…as I said earlier - I subscribe to the limited inspiration theory of how the Bible was written.  God inspired the thoughts of the biblical writers, but not necessarily the words they chose…in the Bible, God is referenced as a “He”. Did God indicate to them that He wanted to be referred to as a “he”? Was it an assumption on the part of the writers living in a male-dominated culture? ...don't know...

I note the term "dominated".  Certainly a 20th century revisionist history there, through language.  Galations 3:28.

In many cases both genders are necessary to continue the species.  Not just one.  Basic biology.  Because of the energy investment, both are required to participate in the upbringing of the next generation.  That's 3 parties there.

 

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40 minutes ago, Bolshevik said:

I note the term "dominated".  Certainly a 20th century revisionist history there, through language.  Galations 3:28.

In many cases both genders are necessary to continue the species.  Not just one.  Basic biology.  Because of the energy investment, both are required to participate in the upbringing of the next generation.  That's 3 parties there.

 

Maybe so – I’m not a sociologist – but…I thought "revisionist history" refers to conscious, intentional misstatements about things in the past, whether distant or recent. I’m certainly no expert on the ancient cultures portrayed in the Bible…it’s my understanding they were – perhaps I made a poor choice of words. Maybe “Patriarchy”  – would be better…Patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. Some patriarchal societies are also patrilineal, meaning that property and title are inherited by the male lineage. From   Wikipedia – patriarchy


I think Galatians 3:28 speaks to the believer’s spiritual identity – my take is that gender, ethnicity, one’s station in life has no bearing.
 

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46 minutes ago, T-Bone said:

Maybe so – I’m not a sociologist – but…I thought "revisionist history" refers to conscious, intentional misstatements about things in the past, whether distant or recent. I’m certainly no expert on the ancient cultures portrayed in the Bible…it’s my understanding they were – perhaps I made a poor choice of words. Maybe “Patriarchy”  – would be better…Patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. Some patriarchal societies are also patrilineal, meaning that property and title are inherited by the male lineage. From   Wikipedia – patriarchy


I think Galatians 3:28 speaks to the believer’s spiritual identity – my take is that gender, ethnicity, one’s station in life has no bearing.
 

Patriarchy is probably a better term, most of us nowadays have been raised under matriarchy.

This website as I understand, was because of another website, due to a lawsuit, because of a cuckold.

VPW needed to be rid of The Trinity, and its history.

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