Ever since the doctrine of Trinity was adopted in Orthodox Christianity, its only value, if any, is a wedge between theologians and ordinary Bible believing Christians. The doctrine of Trinity seems to imply that, even if you believe and adopt everything taught by Jesus in the four gospel books, you are not a bona fide Christian, unless you understand Trinity?
The dividing line is in being caught between what your conscience tells you, according to your understanding, and what those sitting in positions of authority assert to be truth. They use the necessity for submission to authority as tool to quieten you, lest you be viewed as causing division in the church. However, in Christianity, the one and only authority is Jesus Christ.
To me the doctrine of Trinity is just as erroneous as deifying a vine tree, because Jesus said: “I am the vine and you are the branches.” But what is said in John 15 helps in crushing the Trinitarian doctrine. In verse 1 of that chapter, Jesus brings everything into perspective. He declares Himself as being the true vine and His father, a vine-dresser.
In language usage, we are clear in that a true vine cannot be a vine-dresser, at the same time. The real misunderstanding lies in failure to appreciate that the role of Jesus is to project our stead, before God. Jesus, in His human form is as ordinary as all of us are. He leads by being the first Son of God, so that we all become children of God at the point of conversion.
Jesus links the lost humanity to their Father in Heaven. In using the same language that humans use, Jesus then states that His Father is in Heaven. Similarly, we ought to understand that our Father is in Heaven. Though our Savior and brother, as one who died on our behalf on the cross, Jesus is God.
The Bible is clear in that God came in human form, on a mission to save humanity. But that does not necessarily make God’s nature to be as human as we are. Indeed, the gospel books appear as confirming the Triune nature of God. Jesus is the Son of God, only in His human form, as He identifies with us. But He is God, who should be regarded as our Father. That God Father is not as human as we are, because He is Spirit.
The ambiguously answered question, by theologians remains: Why is it necessary to project the Triune reality of God, ahead of what Jesus said we should do (Matthew 28:18-20)? The saving nature of Jesus implies that He does not need additions and subtractions on what He taught.
In the book of Proverbs we are advised: “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:5-6) (ESV). Similar references are: Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32, Galatians 1:6-12, Revelations 22:18-19.
I suppose a God-fearing person would not take these scriptures lightly. Jesus also likened a person who adds or subtracts to what He taught, to someone who builds a house on sand. This is compared with building on a rock solid foundation, when accurately applying everything Jesus taught (Matthew 7:24-27).
Why does fallible humanity appear so naïve, as to assume that theological studies provide advantage, as far as understanding the word of God? In fact, in my own analysis, the more one engages in theological studies, the further he/she is drawn away from the Word of God. This may not be hundred percent true, but the possibility is high that this may be so.
In recent years I have observed that it is easier to talk to a person who knows nothing about Jesus, when simply going through the scriptures with Him/her, than it is to engage a theologian, on Biblical matters. The basic challenge being that a theologian starts by invalidating you, on grounds of poor academic credentials. He/she is so ostentatious as to suppose that there is nothing you can tell him/her about God, because of his educational profile.
But, can it be possible to be proud and honor God at the same time? That could be another way of fulfilling what Jesus said: “These people honor me with their lips but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:6-7).
To me, a good theologian ought to be willing to listen to the one viewed as uneducated, seeking to understand any of their point of error. The theologian should then seek to help the uneducated person to discover the new datum for him/herself, without sounding authoritative over him/her. This is in light of the fact that Jesus is the only authority on Christian matters.
Paul also taught that we should consider other people, as though better than us. Is it not possible, even to learn from the one considered uneducated?
This can be interpreted as too provocative to theologians, but very necessary, in guiding those desiring to remain committed to the Word of God. It is true that I am not qualified to engage theologians in the field of their studies, but what I am projecting here has got nothing to do with theology, but with what Jesus taught.
One of the reasons why Trinity cannot have any pedestal on which to stand, is that the word “Trinity” itself was never, uttered by Jesus, in any contextual significance. Jesus taught only the principles of God’s Kingdom, minus the additions that theologians find value in.
I have no problem with theories that are suitable in soothing one’s personal egos. But I get tormented with indignation, supposedly, on behalf of God, when observing people being misled. While searching and studying is necessary, to be a Christian, I don’t think it is necessary to be guided by theology, than by Jesus Christ.
Christianity only requires humility. “Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up” (James 4:10). This is why, at the beginning of His ministry, Jesus declared: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:3).
Theological studies can be very good and commendable, as long as the intention is not to be recognized as better than other Christians. Seeking to become better than other Christians is demonic and only Satan sponsors it. Christianity is as simple as knowing that Jesus is the only authority, whose word is supreme. To be in God’s Kingdom you do not need educational qualifications.
All the eleven apostles did not have educational profiles, to boast about, as compared with Paul, who, himself, studied under a renowned scholar, named Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). But my ardent prayer is that our learned theologians could take a leaf from Paul, their fellow theologian:
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:8-11) (ESV).
Why should people be engaged in studying Trinity when Jesus never advised doing so? Theologians project themselves as learned people to guide others? But, God’s children cannot be categorized according to rankings, based on educational achievements. In other words, attending some theological college or seminary, or being clear in understanding the Trinitarian doctrine invites no ‘promotion’, necessarily. There is nothing like promotion in Christianity.
At one stage, Jesus made this point very clear to His disciples. Like most of us, Jesus’ disciples were caught arguing on the significance of ranking (Luke 9:46-48). Jesus emphasized that the least is greatest. He taught the reverse of what is generally understood by everyone. His emphasis being, The first shall be last (Matthew 20:1-16).
Please be encouraged to also view another of my posts [here].
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