How do you teach the doctrine of the Trinity to someone who believes in the God Head?
Clarify what you mean by “someone who believes in the God Head”.
Father is not the Son is not the Spirit
Son is not the Father is not the Spirit
Spirit is not the Father is not the Son
Father is God
Son is God
Spirit is God
in perfect unity the Father, Son, and Spirit are God. Think of it like water, you have H2O. What does that mean H2O? Well it means that there is one distinct atom of Hydrogen and 2 distinct Oxygen atoms. By themselves they are something all their own but when they form together you get water. Now imagine trying to pull apart a molecule of H2O, you couldn’t they are so perfectly bound together. So perfect that you can’t call it 1 hydrogen and 2 oxygen by themselves they are just water.
Does that make sense? I know my science may be a bit flawed when I said they cannot be pulled apart but you get the picture.
Given that you list yourself as Irish Catholic,have you looked to St Patrick for ideas. There was a pretty concise explanation wrapped in a three leaf clover, if I remember correctly.
I’m glad you asked this. I have a group that is really challenging me to show evidence of The Trinity. This group has a leader who has claimed it’s a false teaching and these ladies are sending me all kinds of information trying to change my mind and I need something to refute them. Other than the CC, which they don’t believe for a minute, calling the Catholic Church a counterfeit church…
Usually the groups that maintain the usage of ‘godhead’ all hail from Adventist Denominations…
…Such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christadelpians, SDA’s and WWCOG 7th day.
…All of these groups have officially repudiated the Trinity.
According to the aforementioned denominations if ‘God’ wanted or needed to…
…God would have annihilated Christ eternally had Christ sinned thereby loosing His salvation.
…They don’t like to use the word Trinity because that term is specific in that it renders impossible.
…The possibility of the mutation of Christ from perfect ‘God’ to sinner than forever dead.
Their Sola Scriptura rendition is based on the actual word Trinity absent from the Bible. Pretty flimsey agruement in light of their oh so new theology.
There are plenty of threads here of recent on the Trinity if you search, or the CCC thus its footnotes for History.
the group sending me messages are all quoting Scriptures that imply that Jesus knew He wasn’t equal with God or that they say on the Scripture “I and My Father are One” means “in goal or attitude”…things like that. They don’t say too much about the word “Trinity”, it’s more the implications of Scriptures.
Well just off the top of my head how do they resolve the Gospel of John 1?
In the begining was the Word, the Word was in the presence of God, and the Word was God.
He was present to God in the begining.
Through Him all things came into being, and apart from Him nothing came to be.
He was in the world and through Him the world was made.
To His own He came, yet His own did not accept Him.
Any those who did accept Him became children of God
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us and we have seen His glory: the Glory of an only Son coming from the Father, filled with enduring love.
here’s some of what was sent to me: What does this sound like to you?? I have to do this in two posts…
Three hundred years past the death of Christ, a council met in Nicea, and they started developing a totally new concept that was both foreign to the Jews and the early Christians.
Prior to the release of the “god-head” trinity statements, there were no books written on the essence of God, nor were there any controversies, for everyone knew that God was God and that a Messiah would come. There was no discussion of three heads, three “persons” or three anything. God had never been referred to as a person or a “triune being.” There was no need for debate given that this concept never crossed anyone’s mind until 325 A.D. Since then, there have been volumes written to try to explain this new creed. Why would it take volumes? The reason is because it is inexplicable in light of the Word of God.
The Jews strictly reject the concept of this creed and never in history have they ever supported such a teaching throughout all of the centuries. That should speak volumes. The religion of Islam is a religion formed from the teachings of Old and New Testament and represents millions of people who strictly reject all the implied concepts of the trinity. Moses, who God spoke to face to face, never ever implied the concepts of the “trinity” nor “god-head.” The point, in and of itself, is not what I use to argue its invalidity. These man-made teachings have been hotly debated since their inception because they do create a whole new religion that is not found in the Old or the New Testaments. The words “Christian” and “trinitarian” do not go together. In other words, the teaching of the trinity was formed hundreds of years after the time of Christ; yet the Old Testament and the New Testament are thousands of years old and are divinely inspired. What happened in 325-415 A.D., that all of the sudden a new (and confusing) revelation of God was added to the Judeo/Christian thought?
Jesus was with God in the beginning. Surely He would have let His Apostles in on the fact that, “by the way, I really am God the Father and sorry about the confusion of calling myself the Son of God all the time!” But no, He insisted on the fact that He was not the Father but rather the Son. John Chapter 10 tells the classic story of where the preachers of the day were going to stone Jesus for they thought He was claiming to be God, and yet Christ denied it and made it clear that He was only saying that He was the Son of God. (You have got to stop here and read that story: John 10:22-42.) Christianity came from the Jews and for centuries they knew that no one could see YHWH face to face and still live. The Jews were afraid to say God’s name much less see Him face to face. The Jews were well aware of the distinction between YHWH and the coming Messiah who would be an earthly Savior. It was and should be impossible to think that God made Himself into a baby and then let men kill Him on a cross!
At the time this new concept was introduced, there wasn’t a strong scriptural argument for this new teaching, but rather a powerful authoritarian leadership in the 3rd and 4th century that burned dissenters at the stake. Arguments for the creed would remain weak but with the use of strong fear tactics, the teaching was reinforced and surpassed the centuries-old Judeo/Christian foundational teachings of “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4), and that God would give power and authority to His Son because His Son lived to please Him and was tempted by satan but refused to misuse this power and try to take over God’s position. (Read about the temptations of power offered to Jesus in Luke Chapter 4.) This several thousand year old Judeo/Christian teaching was replaced with a “god-head with multiple personalities and forms;” a god-head that would even talk to Himself on the cross, in the garden and during baptism. Because of an oppressive religious system that was unlike any system that had ever hit the planet, people were tortured into reciting and accepting the new man-made doctrine. The introduction that God had two or three heads was most definitely frightening to the early church, for the Jews and early Christians knew from all scripture that Jesus was the Son of God and God Almighty and Jesus were two separate beings. No such god-head concept had been introduced in scripture. God as the Father is referenced many, many times and Jesus being referred to as the Son of the Father is referenced multiple times. This new concept, that Jesus was really just the Father incarnate, was shocking and that was why it was and is hotly debated. Not one passage says that God and Jesus are a “god-head,” nor a “trinity,” nor that God incarnated Himself in the form of a human and came to earth and talked to Himself. One voice from heaven stated, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased" (Luke 3:22) at the same time that Jesus was most definitely on earth being baptized. To think that this is a two-headed “person” who talks to Himself and is pleased with Himself is too horrifying to conceive, for it completely goes against the entire Word of God. Only a demon could have birthed this concept and could have tortured people to keep them out of the Word of God and in the Dark Ages. Demons burn dissenters at the stake – not God. This creed mutated the true church into a new and twisted religion. Can you imagine the horror of knowing that you and your loved ones would be burned at the stake if you did not accept this new three-headed monstrous view of God? Imagine being tempted to quote this creed in a weekly ritual because dissenters would be caught and weeded out, leaving behind a confused and weakened crowd of only those too afraid to die for truth. This tradition is still in place today.
Monotheism was fundamental to the Jews as well as to Christians. In fact, all of Jerusalem and the Church would be founded on the fact that we have to forsake the world and other passions and idols and serve only one God. Chapters 28 and 29 of Deuteronomy (the Book of the Law, the Torah, or the commands of God) lay out clearly that if the children of God remain monotheistic then they will prosper, and if they become polytheistic they will suffer. “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below” (Exodus 20:4). God would go on to describe Himself as a Jealous God and that indeed His name was “Jealous” (Exodus 34:14).
God sending a Son or a Savior (Messiah) was not polytheism. His was a very high but subordinate position. Just as John the Baptist spent his entire life pointing to Jesus and making Him known, Jesus spent every waking breath and action pointing to the Father with statements such as, “‘Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. ‘No one is good-except God alone.’” (Mark 10:18); “‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.’” (John 4:34); “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36); “…the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” (John 14:31) Jesus never thought that He was the Father; if He did – Christ would have been free to let the Apostles know that “new” secret. satan surely never treated Jesus as God the Father. How absurd to think that God Himself tested Himself against satan. The scripture reads as follows: “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” (Luke 4:5-8) (See also Deuteronomy 6:13). Do you really want to rewrite the Bible to say that God sent Himself to earth to be tempted by satan to worship satan and the prize would be the kingdoms of the earth? God already owns the earth and gave the earth to satan – only Jesus could be tempted with power. Satan wasn’t asking the Creator of the Universe to worship him! Satan asked the Son of God to worship Him. Satan wants power and he is behind the push to make you think that “Jesus is equal in power to YHWH” because he wants to dilute God’s power.
The only plausible explanation for mankind to come up with such a creed that made Jesus and God a “triune God” was the fear of being associated with polytheism - which was a concern due to the widespread influence of the Greeks at the time of Christ (Acts 17:16-23). In the midst of polytheism, the Israelites had always proclaimed truthfully that there was but one God. Once Jesus (the Son of God) entered the picture, someone erroneously thought that this might appear “polytheistic.” In other words, they feared that Christianity would not be distinctive, but would look like a “multiple God” religion. This was such an unnecessary concern because many rulers have had sons. No one, however, has ever thought that a king/prince, father/son, or ruler/son line of authority means polytheism. You assume they are one or united in purpose else the Father would have fired him long ago. Everyone has a soul and a spirit – this does not make them two people. Well, in spite of the clear Word of God that Jesus was the only begotten Son - the Council of Nicea came up with the new concept that Jesus and God are the same being. This was a heretical, dangerous and unnecessary stretch for Christianity. The above creed developed by man between 325 and 415 A.D. (300-400 years past Christ’s death) brought forth this new doctrine that God transformed Himself into multiple personalities, with no scriptures to back this up. How simple (from scriptures) it is to overcome this polytheistic dilemma: just because God has a Son, it is still the same kingdom – it is not polytheism. King David had a son, Solomon, who would take over the throne but this is not a new kingdom. Many employers have sons who rise up to right-hand management, but it is not two separate businesses. Again, this was an unnecessary doctrine created out of fear of association with the Greek culture of polytheism, especially in the light that no lives were more devoted to one God than the early Christians. The early Christians gave up everything for God and His only Son. The whole concept of Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem is wholehearted devotion to God’s Kingdom, through Jesus Christ His Son.
There are 2-3 scriptures that reference Jesus as “God” or Lord of man, and this in reference to His position over us. Jesus was given authority by God as our Savior, Lord, Master and God – but Jesus always referred to His Father as His God. “…My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) “…I am returning to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.” (John 20:17) As you can see from these scriptures, Jesus never left us with a mystery. The false teachers of the third century did that. So, this is simple: any reference to Jesus as God or Father is Christ’s relation and position to mankind. He is the father of the firstborn and He is our God (see Essence of God illustration). Jesus was the firstborn over all creation, was in heaven and then came to earth, and then went back to heaven to sit at the right-hand side of God. Immanuel (God with us) lets us know Jesus’ position to mankind – He is our God and we must bow down. Simple; easy. No one should ever feel any pressure from the scriptures to come up with a new concept to explain why Jesus is our Lord. He is the tried and true, tested all the way to death on a cross, Son of God who has lived out total loyalty to God the Father.
The point here is that it is easy to see the positional scriptures that refer to Jesus as God to mankind (but He still remains the Son of God) (1 Corinthians 15:27), but there is no way to explain away the hundreds of references of Jesus being the Son of God. Anyone can see this. So, why was there the push to make God into “water, steam, and ice” in 325 A.D.? It was because a few people could not understand this simple concept of relation. God made Jesus our Master, Lord—but this did not make Him morph into God. Jesus would not consider this. It takes effort to stay confused because this is so simple. My brother is my brother—but his children also call him “father.” Simple. Again, read 1 Corinthians 15:27. You can rest assured that any confusing doctrine or anti-authority seeds are planted by satan. Satan would love to take over God’s power, and if not, diminish His control by spreading the power out. But Jesus would have none of that, as He was tested in the desert after fasting for 40 days for that very thing. Christ refused to take God’s power to rule, control or manipulate Him. After passing His test, Jesus was then allowed to start His ministry.
Here’s one approach that I believe is logically valid.
Q1: Is God Love? The bible explicitly says he is
Q2: Does God need anything? The correct answer of course is NO
Therefore, since Love requires an object of Love, and since God does not need anything (does not need an object of Love), God must be of his own nature an object of Love, so God must be more than one.
say what? I’m sorry but I don’t think that is a sufficient argument…or maybe it’s the wording?
Dunno, I find it very compelling myself.
I would challenge their assumption that this was a new idea at Nicaea. Ideas do not just spring up out of nowhere. Besides, leadership of churches are usually quite conservative; is it likely that the leadership of the Church was nearly completely composed of progressive thinkers who accepted a novel idea? The idea of the Trinity must have been around for awhile. If they want proof of this, check outcarm.org/early-trinitarian-quotes for quotes from ante-Nicene fathers regarding the Trinity. Other than that, I would suggest reminding them that 300 years is a quite a bit closer to the time of the apostles than 2000 years. It may be that they know quite a bit more about specific apostolic teaching than we do. Also point out Revelation to them. Jesus receives worship in the presence of God. No angel would allow itself to be worshiped, yet Jesus is perfectly fine with it in the very presence of God. Very telling.
When its said what early Christians believed or didn’t believe, then what early Christians are we speaking about specifically? Christians in its understanding implies a Triune God thus Jesus Christ fully human/divine.
The fact that Judaism rejected Jesus is not of issue. Hence this is documented History by Rome, the Jews and Christianity.
As to the question of the early church councils this resulted from those early so-called Christians who represented a false teaching contrary to Christs Ministry foward which is 33-AD then of course we can date the events which unfolded historically in the Apostolic Church from this period foward with church documents and approved Canons with their dates.
The Septuagint or simply “LXX”, or the “Greek Old Testament”, comes to mind off the top of my head which the Apostolic Church without a doubt used. This becomes a point of contention in 90-AD with the Hebrew version which Christians felt was an intention in its effort to suppress Christianity and the Apostolic Church which by now existed in various areas in the East with a focus still on Rome.
Should these Christians reject the New Testament and Jesus Christ as the Savior than they reject Christianity and we pray for them.
I would ask for a documented historic unveiling of their belief system through the centuries. Which unless they followed gnostic or heretic theology I doubt they have it. In fact you can probably trace their history to the past couple centuries.
This is simply an Adventist group promulgating their Arian / semi-Arian teachings…
…They start off with massive error about the Godhead then use a valid logic chain initiating off that initial false premise.
The Historic Christian Faith maintains that the Son is God for exactly the reason the Father & Holy Spirit is God…
…Christ, the Eternal Word has eternally been “the Son”, He has ‘eternally’ done the will of the Father.
…In the Unity of the Holy Spirit.
What these groups attempt to do is quote the texts which show Jesus appealing to the authority of the Father…
…They then conclude there is an “Ultimate God” and decending in rank from that Ultimate God are creature christs.
…Which possess ‘conditional’ deity - i.e. if the creature christ sinned then Ultimate God would have annihilated Him.
The SDA have developed a complete theology on this heretical idea…
…But it’s actually a re-do of the ancient heresies.
thank you. How do you help people who are buying into it though? I’ve had several people say “this makes sense” and now they’re joining this ‘church’ that’s only a few years old anyway!
Well, the way I see it is that Jesus was a Jew, speaking to Jews…
…Who immediately understood that Jesus was making Himself out to be God.
…The ONLY way for Jesus to be able to say these things was if He was actually ‘God’.
In the Old Testament it says that God Himself would come and save us.
Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, **your God **will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
Jesus identified HImself as fulfilling this exact Scripture…
…Of course there are MANY, many other Scriptures but you get the idea.
God, by definition is NOT mutable ( i.e. God cannot tell a lie or sin according to Scripture )…
…The Adventists ALWAYS maintain that Christ “could have” sinned.
…Therefore the Adventist groups perfectly fit in to the camp of antichrist.
…They claim ‘God’ could never cease to exist but insist Jesus could have eternally ceased to exist.
Umm, since you said this in repy to a post of mine, let me be very clear that I fully accept Catholic teaching on the Trinity. What I found rather compelling was not what the OP posted, but the argument that if God is Love, and if Love needs an object, and if God needs nothing, than God must contain within himself an object of Love.
In any case, I have no truck with the myriad Protestant heresies spawned by sola scriptura.
I understand snarflemike, I was saying what I did only as an idea of how to demonstrate the Catholic position.