The world currently exists in the spiritual wilderness, due to idolatry. The Trinitarian doctrine seeks to identify something that can be worshipped, rather than the significance, needing to be worshipped. Hence, making Jesus a god they presume to know and yet they do not even know.
The one through whom God speaks is not necessarily God but is God at the same time. Typically, the Old Testament prophets were given positions of honour —hence Moses was revered. Such prophets were regarded as great because God spoke through them. The greatest was John the Baptist.
“This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist, yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:10-12 NIV).
What could this mean! “Whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he”? To start with, Jesus was also born of a woman. Implying that John the Baptist was, in that respect, regarded as greater than Jesus? Let us be cool, rather than becoming emotional about spiritual matters.
What is born of a woman is flesh and, obviously, perishes at death. However, what is born of God is imperishable, representing God’s image. What is born of God is not biologically developed. The subject of Jesus appears as controversial as was the case at the beginning. There are only four features that I will use in this presentation, hoping that those with ears would understand.
1) Spiritual matters are outside the purview of Scholars.
What was created in God’s image carries eternal existence and its nature cannot be comprehended from a physical viewpoint. What was created in God’s image carries self-sustenance, just as God is self-sustaining. God’s image does not need mathematical calculations, to arrive at specifics. God can only be viewed through the spiritual mind, outside the comprehension of those of this world.
2) The characteristics of Jesus are similar to what was created in God’s image.
That which was created in God’s image knows God. Just as Peter perceived Jesus as Son of God, not seen by physical eyes. Flesh and blood could not perceive that reality. It is unnecessary to engage in arguments on what can only be revealed by God.
Arguing on matters of God’s identity would, actually, be a violation of Christian principles. Being Christian implies following Jesus’s behaviour. Why did Jesus not argue with those unable to figure out His identity?
3) Jesus was not different from those He identified as His brothers.
“When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:38-40 NIV).
The voice that confronted Saul, on his way to Damascus, stated that Saul was persecuting Jesus. “He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. (Acts 9:3-5 NIV).
While testifying that Jesus is a member of the Trinity, the Trinitarians conveniently avoid Scriptures pointing at Jesus being similar to His disciples. This includes what John wrote, with reference to considering other fellow humans:
“We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” (1 John 4:19-21 NIV).
4) God is represented in principle, portraying His nature.
Titus 2:13 is the principal Scripture, used when justifying the Trinitarian standpoint. Let us debunk the misunderstanding, surrounding this Scripture, as often taken out of context.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,” Titus 2:11-13.
We have to start off with the grace of God, having appeared, offering salvation to all people. How does grace “appear,” thereby “offering salvation?” Certainly, that grace cannot be deified. Similarly, the appearance of God was brought by Jesus who could not be deified. The entire world had not known the express representation of God, who could not be deified, in Jesus:
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (Hebrews 1:3 NIV).
Having been created in God’s image, why are we not viewed similarly? Answer: We are engulfed in sinful conditions. Through God’s grace, Jesus was used for our redemption from such conditions. Otherwise, we are in the same state as Jesus. Being what God intended for humanity.
God’s radiance would be perceived by mankind when Jesus sits on the throne of David. However, the same God dwells among Christians. Although not known, God is represented among those known by God Himself.
“Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:19-21 NIV).
Titus infers the viewpoint of general humanity. Bearing in mind that Christians would have, all along, been with God and Jesus. The one sitting on the throne is regarded as Son of Man, appearing as such to humanity. The only difference is that He would then be sitting on the throne.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind (John 1:1-4).
To start with, the “beginning” aspect cannot refer to that which has got no beginning, which is God. This refers to the beginning of communication, between God and humanity. The most important thing to bear in mind is that God cannot be envisioned according to mathematical calculations.
The statement: “The Word was with God and the Word was God,” refers to something like a principle, in our language. This is like saying God is truth, God is Love or alternatively, God is wisdom. In the above Scripture, let us substitute the term “Word” with Communication.
“In the beginning was the Communication, and the communication was with God, and the communication was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.”
This then leads us to appreciate that it can only be the idea of communication that restores order. Conversely, let us substitute God’s opposite number. Being Satan, in the entire Scripture; and substitute “Word” (communication) with the “miscommunication:”
“In the beginning was the miscommunication, and the miscommunication was with Satan, and the miscommunication was Satan. He was with Satan in the beginning. Through him all things were destroyed; without him, nothing was destroyed that has been destroyed. In him was death, and that death was the darkness of all mankind.”
This is the variant of John 1:1-4—Which makes sense, in our ordinary language. The dichotomous principles are as real as can be appreciated, in the physical universe. Life and death. Truth and falsehood. Love and hatred. Beauty and ugliness. Wisdom and stupidity—ad infinitum.
While true that God is Spirit, this does not mean the Spirit is not the Father, which simply means source. When I say God is the Source, or the Spirit is the Source, I would be uttering truthful information. But that is not suggesting an additional member of the Godhead. Only a clown would suggest that.
This is the tangent used by those making the Term “Father” different from the Spirit. In other words, if the Spirit is the Source of everything, why should a clown suggest that the source is different from the Father? When listening to those explaining Trinitarian Theology, it’s easy to fall for it.
Hence, making Jesus God, even though Jesus declared being the Son of God. One cannot be a Son and be equal to the Father, at the same time. To start with, why did ordinary people see the Son of Man, but not the Son of God, seen by Peter?
Perhaps, the most important question should be: Why is Jesus the only Son, in the Godhead? The revelation of the Sons of God is not referring to nonexistent beings. Where are they? What is their role, compared to that of Jesus? And who are they? The answer to these questions should remove the fog.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:18-21 NIV).
It is befitting that Jesus should be given the honour of co-existing with the Father. For those always craving for someone to worship, Jesus, certainly deserves the honour of being worshipped. But, what about those who Jesus said would not be different from Him? If Jesus’s honour is truly genuine, why ignore what Jesus said:
“I am telling you now before it happens so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me, and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.” (John 13:19-20 NIV).
The “I am who I am” states that whoever accepts anyone He sends accepts Him and whoever accepts Him accepts God. In other words, one cannot ill-treat the one Jesus sent, without ill-treating Jesus. But, if Trinity was as important as portrayed, why did Jesus not explicitly teach it?
Apparently, the honour of Jesus should be accorded to those sent by Him, more than thinking about Him, hanging on the cross. Jesus left an impact on the principle of service, more than being served. Jesus never sought to be honoured by anyone.
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28 NIV).
Godliness is in the area of service, more than in the area of being served. Jesus came to reveal Godliness by serving humanity, leading to His crucifixion. Those spending time studying and coming up with Trinitarian theories, ought to have considered service, more than engaging in such studies.
“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (John 5:41-44 NIV).
While Jesus was not honoured, our Theologians assume that honouring Him as a member of the Trinity, impresses Him. The above Scripture rubbishes that kind of viewpoint. Godliness implies doing what is good and providing acceptable service to other fellow humans.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
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