Arianism and modern Apostasy

Dear Communitiy!

I noticed, that some modern non-Catholic Teachings are compliant with arian Teachings:

  • Some Fundamentalists believe in the Great Apostasy as the Christianity became Babylonian, the Arians believe in the Romanisation of Arian Catholicism

  • the Jehovah’s Witnesses and other anti-Trinitarians believe, that the Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy spirit meant the Bapism in the Name of Jesus Christ. The Arians say the same

  • Arius denied the Holy Trinity like Alexander Hislop, Joseph Smith, Pastor Russell etc.

My Question 's: Are the modern Christians influenced by Arianism?

The idea that Jesus is more than a man, but not exactly God, is hinted at in some (false) presentations of Catholic and Protestant teaching. When I led the “Liturgy of the Word for Children”, the text urged prayers “to God, to Jesus, and to the spirit”. I changed that of course to God the Father, Jesus (God the Son), and God the Holy Spirit, but others would read it the way the liberals wrote it.

Many religion texts, and other seminars or Bible studies, imply Jesus was conceived the way we all were. The message is that Jesus growing up had no idea he was God; but as he became more aware of himself, and concern for others, the spark of divinity potential in him (and in everyone) became fulfilled. The only miracle he performed was the Sermon on the Mount. His “resurrection” only means that when we become aware of our divinity, and nurture it in others, Jesus still “lives”.

The explicit Arianism of modern cults is less dangerous than the implied Arianism intentionally or unintentionally presented in Catholic and Protestant writings, lectures, etc. If you write “Jesus (or the Spirit) are not divine persons” you won’t get an Imprimatur or get invited to speak at renewal programs. But if you overemphasize certain things, and omit other crucial facts, people can be led to a kind of watered down Arianism without realizing it.

Interesting…I would have thought the Trinitarian view is pretty set-in-stone for the major denominations.

I would say Christianity is influences by the good found in ALL. This is seen in the pagan philosophers as well as Arianism. If it weren’t for Arias we might not have had the need to develop the Trinitarian formula until sometime later.

There is good in all things, it is up to us to see that good and to use it for the glory of God.


Some denominations now, instead of the Trinity, refer to “the Creator, the Savior, and the Sanctifier”. Sometimes they baptize with that formula, or other wording.

Part of this is coming from the feminist movement. Sometimes even Catholic religion texts use very clumsy wording to avoid using the word “Father” or any male pronoun in referring to any of the 3 Persons of the Blessed Trinity. I have seen stations of the cross with genderless stick figures. Some Catholic and Protestant writers refer, not to Christ, but to “the Christ experience”. Salvation is described not via this specific, male Person, but via the community. In the future, those who believe in a single literal man, Jesus, will be labeled fundamentalists, like those who believe in a literal Noah.

Arius was influenced by writings that didn’t make it into the Canon. Today some are trying to add those other gospels into the Canon. As some denominations begin accepting those
gospels, Arianism and other heresies will be more common in the mainline churches; in fact they won’t be considered “heresies” at all, since they will be scriptural (from their point of view). They may even drop some “traditional” gospels and epistles. It’s already happening on a small scale.

Now you have me interested. Could you name some of those books for me?:popcorn:

Thanks for your answers.

I know, in the Christianity are some hidden Arians, and the Catholic Church has damned them in the Council of Nicea. A hidden Arians was Paul of Samosata for example.

Me too!

Fundamentalists, JWs, and Mormons do not represent all non-Catholics.
I don’t remember what church Hislop associated himself with. His views are rejected by mainline Protestants. Only uneducated, died in the wool fundies still buy into his (now debunked) theories.

If you are referring to liberal Christianity, its been dying on the vine for quite some time now. Thier influence is minimal at best.

Arius denied the Holy Trinity like Alexander Hislop, Joseph Smith, Pastor Russell etc.>>

Hislop, though clearly an anti-Catholic, was a Trinitarian.

A hidden Arians was Paul of Samosata for example.>>

Paul of Samosata was an adoptionist, not an ‘Arian’.

Grace and peace,


Under the sun there is nothing new. All is vanities.

The above is a paraphrase from Ecclesiastes. Written roughly a millennia before Jesus! If it was true then… :wink:

Well, in the case of Joseph Smith, God the Father and his son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph when he was fourteen years old. So, it’s unlikely that he knew much, if anything, about Arianism. LDS are non-Trinitarians based on first hand experience of Joseph Smith and others. In LDS services and classes there is only an occasional passing reference to the Council of Nicea and never any mention of Arianism. I hope this helps.

FWIW, the distinct appearances of the Persons of the Trinity does not discount the Trinity doctrine. For example, Trinitarians believe that Christ’s baptism, where Jesus is in the water, the voice of the Father is heard, and the Holy Spirit appears as a dove, demonstrates the Trinity.

Also, I don’t believe the claim was that Joseph Smith, or the other people mentioned, was aware of Arianism, but that there are similarities in the denial of the Trinity among them, perhaps also relating them to Arianism (i.e. the LDS belief that the pre-mortal Christ, Jehovah, was a literal spiritual offspring of the Father (and Heavenly Mother), as we all are, and therefore had a sort of “beginning”, which contrasts to the Trinitarian understanding).

I think a distinction needs to be made here with the pre-Nician Subordination and Relational-Subordination Theology.
In my understanding the Church views Subordination theology as heretical but not Relational-Subordination Theology. The main difference being that in Subordinationism the Son and Holy Spirit are seen as subordinate to the Father in both nature and being where in Relational-Subordinationism the Son and the Holy Spirit are seen as subordinate to the father because they never command the father but rather do the will of the father yet they are equal in nature and being.

The difference between these two positions need to be clearly understood to avoid the errors of the modern Arians. J W’s and the like jump on the verses that show the Son and the Holy Spirit doing the will of the father to try and prove their heretical Arian position and then attempt to water down verses which show the Son and Holy Spirit are equal to the Father in nature and being such as eternal existence.

The New Testament is packed full of Relational-Subordinationism and in my view to avoid inadvertently teaching some form heresy. When it comes to the question of Christ’s relationship with the Father we should start from these two positions rather than the Arian (Unitarian ) and Trinitarian positions. It’s a bit like putting the cart before the horse. After all Arianism and Trinitarianism are both developed theologies that came from the 300 years of debate (argument ) between Subordinationism and Relational-Subordinationism.

P.S. I have found that a correct understanding and competent grasp of Relational-Subordinationism is not only the best way to refute modern Arians like the J.W’s it also leaves them reeling because it totally undermines their false position from a point of view that they rarely hear and also because they try to prove their position by using the arguments of Subordinationism and Trinitarian Christians very rarely counter them with Relational-Subordinationism.

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists subscribe to some of these Arian teachings.

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