|A Mormon missionary wrote me asking about the doctrine of the Trinity.|| ||
It is true that the doctrine of the Trinity is not easy to get our minds around. But because it is complex, does not mean it is wrong. God makes Himself known to us plainly and simply, but He is not plain and simple. You can describe the systems of a Boeing 747 in simple terms, but it would still take many volumes and years of study to know it fully. So it is with God.
I wish you were in a place I could send you my two tape series on the Trinity. I will try, as I can, to load it onto the Internet.
Having said that, let me introduce you to the introduction, so to speak, of the Trinity. To understand this doctrine you must be willing to believe what the Bible itself says, not what someone _says_ it says.
Understanding a Bible doctrine requires us to read the Bible from front to back. We must understand that God has a purpose in giving us the Bible. Although it came through many people over more than a thousand years, there is a unity to it because it actually comes from God Himself.
The doctrine of the Trinity is based on two (or three) revelations. The revelation of His Unity in the Old Testament and His Trinity in the New.
Start with the Old. The main purpose of the Old Testament is to call people away from the belief in and worship of many gods. "You go whoring on every high hill and under every green tree after false gods," He says. He gives us the First Commandment, the Schema (Deut. 6:4) " 4 ¦ Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:" And He gives us all the Isaiah verses:
"You are my witnesses," declares the Lord, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior" (Isaiah 43:10-11).
This is what the Lord says Đ IsraelŐs King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it (Isaiah 44:6-7).
"You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one" (Isaiah 44:8).
"I am the Lord, and there is no other, apart from me there is no GodÉ so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there in none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other." (Isaiah 45:5-6).
TO UNDERSTAND the nature of God, we _first_ must understand that in all the universe there is but one God, self-existent God and that everything else is a creation of this One God. That is the bottom line of the Old Testament and the beginning of understanding the New Testament.
Only once we understand that there is but one God and we begin to approach the revelation of the New Testament.
In the New Testament we indeed find that God appears in three Persons: Father Son; and Holy Spirit. All three of these Persons possess all the attributes of God.
SO WHAT DO WE DO with the information? We can either jettison the revelation of the Old Testament (as Mormons do) and say there are three Gods (and if three why not four, and if four why not me?). But we can't do that.
OR WE can take the rout of the Unitarians and say there is only one God, but sometimes He appears as the Father, sometimes as the Son, or sometimes as the Holy Spirit. But that won't work either because the New Testament declares that Jesus, being fully God, is Eternal. So what do we do with the New Testament revelation of the full Godhood of Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit? We can't wrap our minds around a God Who is both One and Three. We must redo his infinity to fit with in our finite universe. We do so either by rejecting the Old Testament Revelation of His Oneness, or by rejecting the New Testament revelation of His Threeness. Cults take one of those two options.
BUT TO THOSE who declare what the Bible declares even though they do not full understand it, there is but one acceptable statement of faith: "There is One God Who eternally exists in Three Persons; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."
Mormons scoff at this great revelation of God's grandness as silly. They mock it (or did when I was a Mormon) in the temple ceremony, as the mock Christianity during the Manti pageant singing "At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light and the burden of my sin rolled away..." as though that hymn depicted the silliness of trusting Christ alone for forgiveness.
WHEN I WAS in the Navy, I was a radar technician. I fixed radars. But I never knew how electricty worked. I though "the electrons move down the wire from positive to negative." But a nuclear scientist told me, "Actually, the holes _between_ the electrons move." So, you see, I never understood it. But that never prevented me from turning on the lights.
The Trinity is simply stating everything God revealed about Himself in the Bible. But the cults can't submit to that kind of simple obedience. So they make up something. For me, I would rather say what the Bible says even if I don't understand it, rather than make up something the Bible does not say, just so I can understand it.
Again Aaron, I advise you to listen, not only to what Mormons tell you, but to think outside the box and ask yourself if all of the great minds of Christianity have come to love and believe in the Trinitarian God of the Bible just because some priest told them to believe it. That is not the case.
Even if you can't get a hold on the Trinity, at least, do not fall for the lie that there are many Gods in the Universe.