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Featured Is worshipping the Trinity worshipping three gods?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Neostarwcc, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. Neostarwcc

    Neostarwcc Eternal life is a free gift. Amen. Supporter

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    So this is a serious question. I am by all definitions a Christian and I've been a Christian for the last seven years almost now. I do worship the Triune God on a daily basis but my question is "is this worship polytheistic?"

    We Christian's keep saying that God is one God in three distinct persons we also quote Genesis 1:26 in our defense of the trinity because God says "let us create mankind in our image" if God were not at least two persons in one God why would he say "let us create mankind in our image?" There are also other parts of the Old Testament that refers to God's spirit as a separate and distinct God (Ezekiel 36:26-27, Zekeriah 4:6). So one could argue that God at least two in one. But what about the numerous verses in the Old testament that say that God is one?

    Why is the worship of the father son and holy spirit not polytheism? Clearly we worship three Gods because we call the triune God three separate persons which anybody can see is the worship of three Gods. True we add three persons in one God but not a single Christian can explain just how that works. Instead we just say that's a mystery of God.

    I'm not saying that I will stop believing in the Triune God. I'm just asking for an explanation as to how I'm not worshipping three separate Gods. Especially when we say that God is three separate persons. It just does not make sense when you examine it.
     
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  2. Stranger36147

    Stranger36147 Active Member

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    If you believe in the Trinity, the idea is that while there are three different members of the Trinity, they're all somehow one and the same God. And yet they're also separate somehow. Idk, it can be a little confusing for sure.
     
  3. Rubiks

    Rubiks armchair linguist

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    The trinity by definition isn't worshipping three different gods.

    </thread>
     
  4. R. Genevieve

    R. Genevieve Member

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    It's because while there are three persons in the Trinity, they are one being. In our lives on Earth, we grow to assume that one person equals one being, but this isn't the case for God.
     
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  5. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Soli Deo Gloria

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    I admit, often times language fails to describe God. I find 'person' to poorly communicate the distinction made within the Godhead, since a person is often understood in terms of having self-consciousness, whereas the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one consciousness. I believe it is on this point where people begin to get confused.

    The term I prefer using is modus subsistendi (mode of subsistence). The Godhead has three modes of subsistence. The Father is an individual subsistence of the Godhead than the Son and Holy Spirit. They communicate with each other as a person, but they share the same essence of being.

    Let's break it down to something like this: what is God?

    He is spirit, eternal, immutable, infinite, powerful, and all-knowing. These attributes we give to God, as revealed in his word, to describe him in the best way possible. This is his essence of being. He is these things, they are not parts of him. Now, when we speak of a Trinity we speak of three who are in unity of this essence. The Father is eternal, so is the Son, because they are subsisting from the same essence of what God is. The Father is a mode of the essence, the Son is a mode of the essence, and the Spirit is a mode of the essence.

    You cannot divide God. So there are three entities who are God.

    Don't confuse this use of 'mode' with the heresy of Sabellian modalism.
     
  6. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Here is both an informative AND humorous look, principally at what the Trinity is ~not~.


    --David
    p.s. - and here is what one of our Creeds says, just for reference sake.

    The Athanasian Creed (excerpt)
    We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

    But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
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  7. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    No
     
  8. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    The answer to the question first of all is "no"

    The realm God lives in has different laws of physics than here, so the only way we can develop an intuitive and progressively clearer understanding is through Spiritual Maturity.

    Here is the reason why.

    When we are born again, that born again new creation that starts growing within us is of the same substance that allows God to be one like that. In so far Jesus prayed to the Father (John 17) may they (those who believe because of the apostles) be one as we are.

    Jesus wouldn't pray for something that isn't possible.

    So in worship as hearts as one worship God, some even experience this unity with other believers in fulfillment of the prayer of Jesus.

    Another thing to consider, Paul said "we have the mind of Christ" it takes time for that to develop through faith and gradual spiritual growth.
     
  9. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think your problem is the confusion between person and nature, a nature is what makes something what it is, while person is a self existence or self identity of a say human or specific creature basically who one is. Now in the Holy Trinity there is one individual nature called God that is neither multiplied nor divided, now along with his one nature or being are three self individualities or existences that possesss this one nature in a Godhead. That is the Father from which proceeds the Son, from which the Holy Spirit proceeds from. Yes the Old Testament does say God is One and that is what the trinity teaches that God is One, however the Old Testament also portrays God as a multi-personal being not a uni-personal being as a Jew or a Muslim might imagine. This can be seen in the Angel of the Lord figure we see constantly in the Old Testament who Joshua bowed down to and worshipped (indicating he’s not a creature) and the same angelic figure that Jacob wrestled with and identified as God in Genesis. So this one God is also multi-personal not uni-personal. And worshipping one God in three persons isn’t polytheistic unless you say or believe that the three persons each have individual substances and natures that are all divine which would be tritheistic and polytheistic and would be the worship of three gods which isn’t the trinity. Arians, Jehovah’s Witness, and most Unitarians also float on this boat due the their belief that Jesus or the Son is a created being that is worshipped as a semi god inferior to the Father. Either way there is nothing wrong with the Trinity if you can get a good grasp about it, although no one can truly understand God, it would help to study the doctrine a little. Hope I helped.
     
  10. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

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    No, dear. God is One. The Father's Word and Spirit are essentially inseparable from Himself in nature, while being distinct from Him, too. Three, who are One.
     
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  11. Neostarwcc

    Neostarwcc Eternal life is a free gift. Amen. Supporter

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    Right because people have made paintings on just what they believe the Trinity to be. They paint the father,son, and holy spirit as three separate entities and it looks like they're three separate Gods. But yet God is one? This is very confusing. But to me it was taught in the Old Testament even that God was a divided God. Because Genesis says that Gods spirit hovered over the waters. So we see the Holy Spirit in action. And then when God makes man all members of the Trinity say "let us make mankind in our image". If God was not a triune God than why would he refer to himself as us? Unless God was talking to his spirit?

    But how you described how God can be three essences in one God makes sense.
     
  12. Neostarwcc

    Neostarwcc Eternal life is a free gift. Amen. Supporter

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    That was helpful. I had forgotten about the angel of the Lord described in the Old Testament. Just what part of God was he? Is God four in one? The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the angel of the Lord? Or was the Angel of the Lord an angel that God sent? But then again the OT describes the Angel of the Lord as a part of God so he has to be a part of God. This is just all confusing. Maybe I'll just ask God when I die. No matter what happens I'll have to stand before God and give an account for my life. So... yeah... I can ask God then.

    I've talked to many Jews before. The ones I talked to believed that God would raise all of the dead at the end of the age and that the messiah will come at the end of the age. So... idk just weird. Peopke talk about the Jewish faith being a relationship with the God of b.c. the universe but... idk.
     
  13. Neostarwcc

    Neostarwcc Eternal life is a free gift. Amen. Supporter

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    I figured 100% of the people on this thread would say no I was wondering why not. Because it seems since we all worship a triune God that it would be like worshipping multiple Gods.

    How exactly are Christian's made one like God is?
     
  14. Neostarwcc

    Neostarwcc Eternal life is a free gift. Amen. Supporter

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    My wife laughed at that video but I dont like the definition of God being a mystery. Somebody brought up in this thread that Christian's are one just as God is one. But this analogy falls flat because we are all separate people. We are not all one person in multiple essences or bodies.

    I mean I'll believe in the Trinity until I die but just how the trinity can be true I just have no clue. I have to rely on faith and this makes me look like a hypocrite. A lot of the other religions that say there is only one God in one person have an explanation on just how God is one. But Christian's have to rely on faith? Just... wow...
     
  15. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    You and everyone else too ;)

    The Godhead is one of our Biblical mysteries*, which is why the church created the doctrine of the Trinity, to both circumscribe and safeguard the truth that the Bible teaches us about it (not explain it, because that is simply beyond any of us, at least on this side of the grave). It may be impossible for us to fully understand the Godhead/Trinity right now, but that doesn't mean that it isn't true :preach:

    Deuteronomy 29
    29 The secret things
    * belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this Law.
    We take ~by faith~ that what God told us about Himself in the Bible is true. We worship the transcendent One who brought the Universe itself (space/time, and all that's in it) into existence, the One who continually sustains it, as well .. e.g. Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3.

    So there are things that we, His finite creatures, are not capable of understanding about Him, about a Being who has done and is doing all of that, who is w/o beginning or end, who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, and that's just for starters ;)

    Here's a mind boggler for you, God's omnipresence means that 100% of Him exists everywhere .. as well as at every "time" .. at the same time. God is not like us, but He clearly loves us and wants us to be with Him in the eternity to come, :amen:, so He revealed all that we need to make knowing Him and spending eternity with Him, possible.

    There's much more, but this is already to long of a reply, so I'll stop.

    --David
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  16. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    The trinity diagram explains that Jesus is God, but is not the Father or the Holy Spirit. That the Father is God, but is not Jesus or the Holy Spirit. That the Holy Spirit is God, but is not Jesus or the Father.

    How this applies to those who believe is:

    I am of the body of Christ, but I am not you, or anyone else in the body of Christ.

    You are of the body of Christ, but you are not me, or anyone else in the body of Christ.

    And together, we form a dwelling place for God in the Spirit realm (Ephesians 2:22)

    This kind of unity is in stark contrast to the type of unity in the world where new age adherents would say I am you, and everything else in the universe, we are one. The oneness of the Trinity rejects this amorphous blob oneness, and retains our individual person.

    So those experiencing an amorphous blob type of oneness cannot understand a one God with three persons, because they do not experience it in the image and likeness parable.
     
  17. A. Sinner

    A. Sinner New Member

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  18. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Keep in mind that the word Angel simply means messenger in Hebrew and Greek, it doesn’t necessarily mean those winged heavenly creatures that serve we usually think of, it can also be used to refer to human messengers which it has a couple times in the Bible if I’m not mistaken. And it’s also been used to refer to the divine figure known as the Angel or messenger of the LORD figure in the Old Testament, the Angel of the LORD is the pre-incarnate Son before he took on flesh as the man named Jesus. There’s also no parts in God, the trinity isn’t parts of God, God is now where described as having parts since he is wholly One in essence and divinity.
     
  19. Andrewn

    Andrewn Active Member

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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  20. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Nope. We know and affirm that there is only one god. Even if we do not understand how the three persons of the Trinity interrelate, we know that we are not worshipping three gods, so we are not polytheists.
     
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