one god three persons

anonymous asked:

How can one God be three persons?

It is difficult for our human minds to comprehend, still we can use ‘limited’ examples to try to illustrate this. For example:

Time is one thing, right ?!
But it divided into past, present and future (3 in 1)
The space: height, width and depth (3 in 1)
The basis of matter: protons, neutrons and electrons (3 in 1)
States of matter: solid, liquid and gaseous (3 in 1)
Music: melody, harmony and rhythm (3 in 1)

God is a Tri-unity, with each Person of the Godhead equally and fully and eternally God. Each is necessary, and each is distinct, and yet all are one.

anonymous asked:

Can I ask a question? I'm still converting and if this is a weird question don't worry about answering it. I love that we have a Heavenly Mother. What I'm confused about is how, if we worship one God, she's another deity that we worship as well. Is that polytheistic? Or is there something I haven't learned and I'm totally confused? Thank you for your time, sorry again if it's a weird question.

First of all, no question is a weird question especially in Mormonism! This question does get particularly complicated, but the gist is that the LDS theology around God (as much as an LDS theology exists, because continuing revelation leaves literally everything in it open to change) views God less as an entity and more as a title–and, what’s more, as a title that multiple embodied individuals can share so long as they act in complete unity, which the Godhead will. This is in contrast to the doctrine of the Trinity as it’s expressed in the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions where God is three persons in one substance or nature (the Greek jargon word for this is homoousios). I would recommend reading Dallin H. Oaks’ recent Conference talk on this subject because it’s a really simple summation of what Mormons essentially are thinking of when they say “Godhead.” The rest of this kind of digs into the details of that basic idea.

I don’t honestly think the Mormon position is as different from the Trinity as a lot of us like to claim but the major difference is Mormonism’s stress on God having to be embodied. Pretty much every other Christian tradition rejects this idea beyond Christ’s Incarnation, but Joseph Smith seeing two physical personages in the First Vision and his later King Follet Discourse really tie us into the doctrine of an embodied God. To maintain the idea of One God, we shift the concept of God towards expressing a partnership between multiple divine beings instead of one being who is multiple personages; it’s basically taking the Trinity idea one step further. God The Father (or more accurate to the theology, God The Parents, which we’ll get into below), God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit are all different persons who are operate and are worshiped as one Godhead or in normal parlance, One God. Think of Jesus’ intercessory prayer in John 17, where He asks The Father that His disciples “may be one, as we are.” The Mormon take on that is that since Peter, James, John, Thomas, Matthew and the rest didn’t melt together into one blob of homoousios than the best reading of the united nature of Christ and The Father is a union of purpose and action rather than a union of being.      

Heavenly Mother is generally inferred and implied in Mormon theology rather than explicitly discussed or worshiped but the idea stems from the biblical teaching that human beings were created in the image of God and the King Follet Discourse’s concept of human beings progressing towards exultation as gods themselves. If we’re holding to those premises, it doesn’t make sense that half of the entire human race just vanishes once we start looking at what’s supposed to be the next step in our evolution. Heavenly Mother resolves that issue and I think the Divine Feminine is a really beautiful idea, but we haven’t worked to receive much more revelation about Her than that She exists, so that’s certainly a subject to pray and ponder about. I’ve taken to using Heavenly Parents more often than Heavenly Father because it seems to me like She’s involved in most everything The Father is–my hunch is that our scriptural tradition just leans on male language for deity because of the patriarchy, but that’s just a hunch. Heavenly Mother gets downplayed a lot in the LDS Church because She isn’t a belief we share with any other Christian churches and we can’t really point to any canonized scriptural precedent that really seals the deal on the theology. For example, we don’t really pray to Her because the precedent in the Lord’s Prayer only has us addressing Our Father. But She is here and we believe in Her! 

Obviously these are both really BIG topics and contain some of the largest differences between Mormons and other Christians, as well as the fuzziest and least certain portions of our doctrine. There are a ton of tangents and detours to fill, but I feel like this a decent portrait of the basic concepts. I know I didn’t cover everything so if anyone else wants to help me flesh it out, or has any other questions along this line, feel free to contribute. 

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Celebrating the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity – 11 June 2017

The fundamental dogma, on which everything in Christianity is based, is that of the Blessed Trinity in whose name all Christians are baptised.   The feast of the Blessed Trinity needs to be understood and celebrated as a prolongation of the mysteries of Christ and as the solemn expression of our faith in this triune life of the Divine Persons, to which we have been given access by Baptism and by the Redemption won for us by Christ.   Only in heaven shall we properly understand what it means, in union with Christ, to share as sons in the very life of God.

The feast of the Blessed Trinity was introduced in the ninth century and was only inserted in the general calendar of the Church in the fourteenth century by Pope John XXII.   But the cultus of the Trinity is, of course, to be found throughout the liturgy. Constantly the Church causes us to praise and adore the thrice-holy God who has so shown His mercy towards us and has given us to share in His life.

Trinity Sunday
The dogma of faith which forms the object of the feast is this:  there is one God and in this one God there are three Divine Persons;  the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God.   Yet there are not three Gods, but one, eternal, incomprehensible God!   The Father is not more God than the Son, neither is the Son more God than the Holy Spirit. The Father is the first Divine Person; the Son is the second Divine Person, begotten from the nature of the Father from eternity; the Holy Spirit is the third Divine Person, proceeding from the Father and the Son.   No mortal can fully fathom this sublime truth. But I submit humbly and say: Lord, I believe, help my unbelief..

Why is this feast celebrated at this particular time? It may be interpreted as a finale to all the preceding feasts.   All three Persons contributed to and shared in the work of redemption.   The Father sent His Son to earth, for “God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son.”   The Father called us to the faith.   The Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, became man and died for us.   He redeemed us and made us children of God.   He ever remains the liturgist par excellence to whom we are united in all sacred functions.   After Christ’s ascension the Holy Spirit, however, became our Teacher, our Leader, our Guide, our Consoller.   On solemn occasions a thanksgiving Te Deum rises spontaneously from Christian hearts.

The feast of the Most Holy Trinity may well be regarded as the Church’s Te Deum of gratitude over all the blessings of the Christmas and Easter seasons;  for this mystery is a synthesis of Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost.   This feast, which falls on the first Sunday after Pentecost, should make us mindful that actually every Sunday is devoted to the honour of the Most Holy Trinity, that every Sunday is sanctified and consecrated to the triune God.   Sunday after Sunday we should recall in a spirit of gratitude the gifts which the Blessed Trinity is bestowing upon us.   The Father created and predestined us;  on the first day of the week He began the work of creation.   The Son redeemed us;  Sunday is the “Day of the Lord,” the day of His resurrection.   The Holy Spirit sanctified us, made us His temple;  on Sunday the Holy Spirit descended upon the infant Church. Sunday, therefore, is the day of the Most Holy Trinity.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Symbols of the Trinity: Equilateral Triange; Circle of Eternity; Three interwoven Circles; Triangle in Circle; Circle within Triangle; Interwoven Circle and Triangle; Two Triangles interwoven in shape of Star of David; Two Triangles in shape of Star of David interwoven with Circle; Trefoil; Trefoil and Triangle; Trefoil with points; Triquetra; Triquetra and circle; Shield of the Holy Trinity; Three Fishes linked together in shape of a triangle; Cross and Triangle overlapping; Fleur de Lys; St. Patrick’s Shamrock.

Prayer to the Holy Trinity

I Adore Thee, O my God, one God in three Persons; I annihilate myself before thy Majesty. Thou alone art being, life, truth, beauty, and goodness. I glorify Thee, I praise Thee, I thank Thee, and I love Thee, all incapable and unworthy as I am, in union with thy dear Son Jesus Christ, our Saviour and our Father, in the mercifulness of his heart and through his infinite merits. I wish to serve Thee, to please Thee, to obey Thee, and to love Thee always, in union with Mary immaculate, Mother of God and our Mother, loving also and serving my neighbour for Thy sake. Therefore, give me Thy Holy Spirit to enlighten, correct, and guide me in the way of Thy commandments, and in all perfection, until we come to the happiness of heaven, where we shall glorify Thee forever. Amen.

The Trinity, by Sandro Botticelli

Tomorrow is the Sunday of the most Blessed Trinity.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar, many decades ago, said he stopped being Catholic and became Muslim because the Trinity confused him. How can the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be one God, and three Persons, at the same time, he asked? 

I don’t have deep theological explanations. What I do know is that Catholic Faith leads us to community, to being social, to being concerned for the many. At the same time, from the many, there is one Church, one Faith, one Baptism, one Mass, one moral teaching. For the many, there is one Catholicism. 

So being a Catholic, I see the Trinity God as a teaching about God being a diversity of Persons, united in one unity of love. That’s what we Catholics do. Our mission is to gather the diversity of languages and races, and make them one union of love, of charity. I don’t have to figure out how that happens. I just have to strive, to do it. 

Marauders Aesthetics: James, Lily, and Sirius

anonymous asked:

I think it's VERY telling how many muslims mistakenly think Christians worship 3 gods. In their eyes we worship God the Father, Jesus, and Mary. The Catholic church has lead muslims to think that Mary is a christian goddess.

My understanding is that even setting aside the idolization of Mary, Muslims still have a hard time comprehending the concept of the Triune God. Many think Christians worship “3 gods” because the Trinity/Triune nature of our God consists of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and they understand this as three separate gods. It’s hard for them to understand the idea that He is three Persons in one God.

But I’m sure the issues with idolatry of Mary only add to the confusion and make it even harder for Muslims to understand the truth of His nature.

Why the Trinity Is Three Persons

Full Question

        Why is the Trinity three persons instead of one, two, four, or more persons?        

Answer

One can respond simply that God has revealed himself as three persons—and that is that. We must remember that God is not merely a bigger version of us and that unless he explains himself, any attempt to fully understand him is like trying to contain an ocean in a thimble.

We know from Church teaching that the Trinity is at the heart of Christianity. St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us that while it is possible to reason to the existence of God, we can know the Trinity only because of what Jesus has revealed to us about it.

However, Aquinas reflected on how we might gain some insight into the mystery of the Godhead. Even though we refer to the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit as persons, the reality of such terminology far outstrips anything we understand by the word person. So the divine persons are not separate individuals as in a father, a son, and a dove but are essentially distinct by their relationships with each other. Relationship is the key.

For St. Thomas, the Trinity is the relationship of self-knowledge and love that exist in God. We can identify with this in that we know that we exist as the persons that we are. But we can also reflect on who we are. We have knowledge about ourselves. Now, this self-knowledge proceeds from ourselves as a separate and yet definite part of who we are. There is a relationship between us and our awareness of who we are.

The Trinity shows us a somewhat similar sort of relationship existing in God. So God the Father is God. Proceeding from God is God’s self-knowledge of himself—and this is actually the Son. The Holy Spirit is the relationship of love between God’s self-knowledge (the Son) and God (the Father). In loving the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit completes the Trinity, rendering any further divine persons impossible.

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always look in the background.

Against Messianic Judaism

           There is a small, but vocal, movement among Christians who wish to “restore” Christianity as a sect of Judaism. They primarily rely on Jewish converts to Christianity to bolster their claims to legitimacy, however, large numbers of people who claim to be Jewish in Messianic communities are not Jewish at all. Messianic Judaism is in fact a misnomer as their central beliefs and authoritative scriptures are Christian, not Jewish. A more accurate, and older, name would be Hebrew Christianity. As I will demonstrate, the Messianic movement is riddled with inconsistencies, contradictions, deceitful or incorrect terminology, and theological confusion. Messianic Judaism has the unique distinction of so thoroughly misunderstanding Christianity and Judaism that it is considered a heresy by both. While my criticisms will not likely sway a committed Christian in this movement to abandon their mistaken, anti-Semitic sect, I do hope that it will help to prevent anyone who may wish to join them from doing so. In this essay, I will bring forth arguments against Messianic Judaism, this will include criticism of Christianity itself. However, I do not wish this to be seen as an attack on Christianity. I respect committed, honest Christians and their right to practice their faith. My criticism of Christianity will only be for the sake of demonstrating why Judaism and Christianity cannot be joined in a syncretic religion and how Messianic Judaism disrespects both Judaism and Christianity.

           Before going further, we must define what we mean by Messianic Judaism. Primarily, it must be kept in mind that this sect is not a sect of Judaism at all. All of its central beliefs, which can be found at mjaa.org, are Christian in nature. Their statement of faith is primarily concerned with the Christian Trinity and salvation from sin through faith in Jesus, who they identify as the Jewish messiah (a claim that will be examined later). They also accept the Christian New Testament as authoritative scripture which will prove problematic to their claims of practicing Judaism in any sense of the term. Another important aspect of their purpose in existing is a desire to not assimilate into the larger church and to “share this way, this truth, and this life with their Jewish brothers and sisters.” They simultaneously wish to remain separate from the goyische churches and convert other Jews to Christianity. Both of these goals will be analyzed below.

           The fundamental problem with Messianic Judaism is their insistence on calling their religion Judaism. Despite their claims to be practicing a “complete” form of Judaism, they negate the entirety of Judaism. As the late Orthodox Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan wrote, “Christianity negates the fundamentals of Jewish faith, and one who accepts it rejects the very essence of Judaism. Even if he continues to keep all of the rituals, it is the same as if he abandoned Judaism completely.” Although Messianic Jews retain some Jewish rituals, their Christian beliefs, and the Christian New Testament itself, subvert and destroy the essentials of Jewish faith and practice.

           The Christian New Testament explicitly claims that the Law (i.e. the Torah) is obsolete and believers in Jesus are free from both the Law and sin (Romans 7:6; Galatians 3: 23-29; Hebrews 8:13). In fact, Paul makes an explicit connection between sin and following the law, claiming, “Sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and through it put me to death” (Romans 7:11). Considering that all Jewish religious rituals are grounded on the commandments of the Torah or Talmud, the Messianic insistence on holding to any of them places them in direct contradiction with their own scriptures that declare such rituals null and void. A perfect example would be the laws of kashrut, which are directly overturned in the book of Acts by one of the first church councils (Acts 15). Kashrut is an important part of traditional Jewish religious observance based on the Torah and Talmud; yet the Christian scriptures explicitly reject this Jewish practice and the argument made by some in the council to have gentile converts to Christianity “observe the Mosaic law” (Acts 15:5). And the rejection of Jewish law was not limited to gentile converts, but was practiced by Jewish Christians as well, as depicted in Acts 10. Throughout the Christian New Testament, Jewish law is rejected, the Torah is denigrated, and the essentials of the Jewish faith are subverted.

The rejection of Jewish law and practice in the Christian scriptures becomes important in later church history and church councils which explicitly forbade the “Judaizing” of Christianity as heresy (known as the Ebionite heresy). It was argued, based on the teaching of Paul, that “if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing” (Galatians 2:21). The practices of the Jews were further tarred by the antisemitism of the gospels, which portray the Jews as obstinate children of the devil and the killers of Jesus (John 8:44; Matthew 27: 22-25). Jewish practice was even further tarred by the portrayal of the Pharisees in the gospels and their position in Judaism as the rabbis who established the Talmud as the authoritative interpretation of the Torah. The authority of the rabbis was rejected by Jesus himself, most explicitly in Mark 7:13, claiming that the Pharisees/rabbis “nullify the word of God in favor of tradition.” Because Jewish rituals are largely based on the interpretations of Jewish law given in the Talmud, and Jesus himself rejected the authority of the rabbis, the church also rejected Jewish rituals, traditions, practices, and interpretations. Messianic Judaism neglects this anti-Jewish aspect of Christian history, teaching, and scripture for ideological reasons, i.e. the conversion of Jews to Christianity and the desire for a Jewish aesthetic in their worship services.

           Furthermore, the Messianic insistence on keeping themselves apart from the larger goyische church violates the teachings of the Christian New Testament. In Galatians 3:23-29, Paul states that there is “neither Jew nor Greek” and that all Christians are children of God and through Jesus they are all descendants of Abraham. Paul is essentially arguing that goyim have been grafted into the people of Israel through faith in Jesus. Ephesians 4:1-5 calls all Christians to live together in unity as “one body and one spirit […] one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.” Paul further teaches in 1 Corinthians 12:13 that “in one spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons.” He gives this exhortation after lambasting the Corinthian church for having divisions and factions (1 Corinthians 11:18-19). The insistence on maintaining Jewish traditions not only doesn’t fit the theology of Christianity, it creates factions and divisions in the community which is also explicitly forbidden by Christian scriptures.

           Moving away from the problems implicit in trying to make Christianity more Jewish, there is the problem of theology in Messianic Judaism. Theologically, they are Christian, not Jewish. In fact, their beliefs about the Trinity and Incarnation are remarkably orthodox for Christianity. They believe that there is one God in three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They believe that Jesus is the son of God and God incarnate who died for the forgiveness of sins, and that the Holy Spirit dwells in the church and in the hearts of believers. These beliefs are adhered to by all mainstream Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox churches. However, this creates problems for the sect in claiming to be an expression of Judaism because Judaism denies all of these beliefs. Furthermore, the entire religious paradigm of Judaism is different from that of Christianity. Judaism is not primarily concerned with salvation from sin, but in living according to the will of God as expressed through the Torah.

           First and foremost, the divide between Judaism and Christianity has to do with the role of Jesus, not simply if he was the messiah, but whether or not he was a god. Judaism explicitly rejects Jesus as the messiah because of his failure to fulfill the requirements of the role. Judaism also rejects the idea that a human being can be God and on principle will not worship other gods. The Christian deification of Jesus violates both the concept of monotheism and the rejection of a human incarnation of God. Both principles can be found in the Bible. Furthermore, the Torah explicitly warns against false prophets, which by any rational standard Jesus (and the apostles) would fall into, even if we accepted the idea that he (they) performed miracles.

           The Jewish commitment to monotheism can be found throughout the Bible. The first and second commandments state, “I the Lord am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage: You shall have no other gods besides Me. You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image […] You shall not bow down to them or serve them” (Exodus 20:2-5). The central statement of Jewish faith can be found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” And finally, God declares his utter singularity in Isaiah 45:5, “I am the Lord and there is none else; beside Me there is no god.” These verses reveal the absolute unity of God in Jewish theology. God identifies himself as the savior of the Jews from Egyptian slavery, and declares that the Jews will worship no other gods, in fact that there are no gods beside (with) him. Jewish interpretations of these verses have led them to completely reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity as having no basis in the Bible. Moses Maimonides, one the greatest and most authoritative Jewish legal scholars in history, included in his 13 principles of faith belief in the absolute unity of God. Divisions like those of the Trinity are rejected.

           Maimonides also included a rejection of divine incarnation as one of his principles of Jewish faith, which he grounded in the Bible. The Jewish faith rejects the idea that God would have a physical body. The prophet Hosea quotes God as saying, “I am God and not a man” (Hosea 11:9). In the Torah, the idea that God could be a human being is explicitly rejected, “God is not a man to be capricious, or mortal to change his mind. Would he speak and not act, promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19). Moving away from the Bible there is also the logical inconsistency of the idea of an infinite, eternal God truly becoming a finite, contingent human being. The concept of God is inherently mutually exclusive from that of humanity. One cannot truly become the other without totally leaving behind the nature of the former being. I.e. if God were to truly become a human being, he would cease to be God. The Incarnation not only violates the fundamental teaching of Jewish theology, but also flies in the face of logic.

           Moving away from these irreconcilable theological differences between Judaism and Christianity, there is the issue of the messiah. Christians, including Messianic Jews, believe that Jesus was the messiah, while Jews, in keeping with the teachings of halakha and the Bible, reject this claim. The reason for the rejection of the claim that Jesus was the messiah has to do with the standards which Jews have for the messiah. Primarily, the messiah will reestablish the Davidic line of kings, gather the Jewish exiles to Israel, and establish a world rule marked by world peace and mass recognition of the Jewish understanding of God as the correct one (Daniel 7:13-14; Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-4; Ezekiel 39:9; Ezekiel 36:24; Isaiah 11:9; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9,16). There are other, less dramatic requirements which I will not list here. None of these things have happened. Furthermore, Jesus failed to be properly descended from King David. The gospels state that Jesus was born of a virgin and did not have a human father. This in itself bars him from being the messiah if it is true because royal succession is passed through the father, not the mother. Assuming the validity of Jesus genealogy in the gospels, we must also take into account that he was not descended through the proper royal line. Luke shows Jesus as descended from Nathan, not Solomon, but the messiah must be descended from David through Solomon (Luke 3:31; II Samuel 7:12-17; I Chronicles 22:9-10). Because Jesus failed to have the proper pedigree and failed to fulfill the role of the messiah, Jews reject his claim to be the messiah.

           There is one other problem with the Christian understanding of the messiah, i.e. that the messiah must suffer and die for the sins of humanity. This idea is completely foreign to Judaism which explicitly rejects human sacrifice. It is, however, completely at home in pagan understandings of a dying and rising savior god, like Osiris, Horus, or Mithra. The Bible repeatedly and consistently states that human sacrifice is abhorrent to God (Deuteronomy 12:30-31; Jeremiah 19:4-6; Psalm 106:37-38; Ezekiel 16:20). Nor does Judaism, or the Bible, teach that a blood sacrifice must be made for the forgiveness of sin (Leviticus 5:11-13; Jonah 3:10; Jeremiah 7:22-23; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 51:16-17; etc. etc.). Judaism is consistent in teaching that repentance is what God looks for to forgive sins, not sacrifice. Furthermore, Judaism does not teach that someone can atone for the sins of another, each person must atone for their own sins (Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:1-4, 20-24, 26-27; Jeremiah 31:29-30). For all these reasons the death of Jesus, a human sacrifice, has no place in Jewish theology, nor would the God of Judaism accept such a sacrifice.

           And finally, there is the issue of false prophets. Deuteronomy 13:2-6 states in part, “If there appears a prophet or dream diviner and he gives you a sign or portent, saying, ‘let us follow and worship another god’ […] even if the sign […] comes true, do not heed the words of that prophet […] the Lord is testing you.” Jesus claimed to be the son of God (perhaps even God himself) in John 8, and Paul taught throughout the epistles that “Jesus is Lord.” Considering the Jewish adherence to strict monotheism, these proclamations amount to Jesus, Paul, and any other Jewish Christian falling under the label of a false prophet, someone claiming to speak for God while violating the Torah, specifically the commands to worship God alone and obey his commandments. When a Jewish Christian proselytizes another Jew and exhorts him or her to worship Jesus, they are explicitly violating the dictates of the Torah as laid out above, not “fulfilling” or “completing” their Jewish faith.

           The Torah teaches that the Torah is binding on all Jews for all time (Deuteronomy 29:9-14). There is no escape clause in the Torah. Judaism also views the Torah as a blessing, not a curse. It is through observing the teachings of the Torah that Jews are able to obey and draw close to God and live a good life (Deuteronomy 30:11-20). Therefore, the Messianic/Christian claim that the Torah leads to sin and death and has been discarded or superseded by the “new covenant” established by a false messiah is fundamentally incompatible with Judaism. If the Messianic movement accepts the teachings of the Christian New Testament, then they are fundamentally opposed to the essential teachings of Judaism, and therefore, the religion that they practice is not Judaism at all. It is Christianity deceitfully calling itself Judaism and appropriated Jewish rituals for the sake of converting Jews to Christianity. Christianity and Judaism are not compatible religions to be syncretized. Each has its own internal rationale and belief system. While there may be Jewish Christians (people born Jewish who converted to Christianity), there is no such thing as Christian Judaism. It is a contradiction of terms.

Orthodox Studies: The Holy Trinity

The Holy Trinity is revealed both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the Trinity is revealed in subtle ways; in the New Testament, the Trinity is revealed fully and plainly, beginning at the Baptism of our Lord [Jesus Christ].

The Holy Trinity is one God in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These Persons are distinct, but not separate, and are not three gods. They are One God because They are one in essence or nature. The Father is the unbegotten Fountainhead of Deity. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father (John 1:18; 3:16; 16:28). The Holy Spirit is the Helper (Jn 14:16) and Spirit of Truth (Jn 14:17; 16:13), Who proceeds from the Father (Jn 15:26).

The Holy Trinity Created the World

Genesis 1:1- God the Father created the heavens and the earth. The [Apostles] Creed says: “I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth.”

Genesis 1:2- The Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit. He hovered over creation in creative power and equality with the Father. He co-created with the Father.

Genesis 1:3- As the Word of God, the Son made the light (Jn 1:1-3). With creative power and equality with the Father, He also co-created with the Father and the Spirit.

Genesis 1:26- The pronouns “Us” and “Our” reveal a plurality of divine Persons. These Persons are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit operating in complete unity out of the one divine Nature.

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7 THINGS NON-CATHOLICS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

1. We are The Church. 
We are not a denomination since our Founder was Jesus Christ 2000 years ago. Jesus built His Church on the Apostle Peter (Cephas-Rock) in Matt. 16:18 as a Dynastic office supported by the Holy Spirit and those Apostles and Bishops in full communion with the Bishop of Rome who holds the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Pope is the direct and unbroken successor of Peter. No other Church in the world can trace its roots through Peter to Jesus. Only the Catholic Church has this.

2. Our name is the “Catholic Church”. 
We are not just Roman Catholics. Latin and Eastern Catholics form the Catholic Church, the world’s largest single religious body and the largest Christian Church with 1.2 Billion members. The word “Catholic” means Universal; we are everywhere and for everyone, every nation, every race and every colour.

3. The Bible is a Catholic book. 
The Catholic Church, by God’s authority to bind and loose and to be led into All Truth by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 16:19), put the Canon (list) of the Bible together in the 4th Century. We chose 27 books for the New Testament out of 50+ choices, and 46 books of the Old Testament from the Septuagint as that was the Jewish Scriptures Jesus and the Apostles used for a total of 73. The words; Bible, New Testament, Old Testament were chosen by the Catholic Church to define the final terms of the Canon of Scripture. The Catholic Church put together the Bible you now use. The original Bible was intact with 73 books from 300 AD till the 16th Century. This was the Bible all Christians used (73 books) until the Protestants breakaway when they removed 7 books from the Bible and now have 66 though the Bible says we should not take anything away from it (Rev. 22:19). We still use the original Bible in our Churches.

4. Our form of Worship is called the Mass. 
This is from the Apostles who inspired by the Holy Spirit gave us this Sacred Tradition making our worship Divine in origin. No other form of Christian worship, despite its respectful nature, is divine like ours. We worship as the angels do in heaven with incense (Rev. 8:4). This was the way the Apostles worshiped and this is the way they taught us to worship. We have a heavenly worship.

5. The Eucharist (communion) is the true and real presence of Christ; body, blood, soul and divinity. 
While the species’ properties remain bread and wine to the senses, they are in whole changed into the Flesh and Blood of Christ. Through our holy priesthood with valid Apostolic succession the prayers of consecration make this change, and the one time sacrifice of Christ on Calvary is represented to the Father. Only Catholic and Orthodox Churches have a valid Priesthood with Jesus truly present in the Eucharist. All other forms of celebrating the last supper in Protestant communions are symbolic in nature as they lack a valid Priesthood.

6. We do not worship Mary or the Saints. 
We worship the one true God of the Holy Trinity (Trinity was a word invented by the Catholic Church to describe one God in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We honor Mary and all the Saints who did the will of God and lived heroically holy lives. All Saints are created beings and therefore are not Divine and worthy of Adoration which alone belongs to God. Since nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:35) we believe that not even death can so we believe that all Christians who have died are alive with God and together we form one big spiritual family of God which we call the body of Christ and communion of Saints. Since they are already home with God (where we hope to be someday) and see God face to face, we ask them to intercede (pray) for us just as we ask our living brothers and sisters on earth to pray for us. They are our holy siblings just as we have physical siblings. If we believe in the power of prayers of human beings like us, how much more the power of people who are in heaven praying for us. Mary and the Saints are home in heaven with God our Father.

7. We accept all Protestants as our separated brothers and sisters in Christ. 
Together, Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants make up the one body of Christ. The Orthodox share the most in common with the Catholic Church as they are valid churches because they have retained Apostolic succession with all seven sacraments. They are wounded by their lack of union with the Bishop of Rome who holds Primacy among all Bishops, and serves as a source of unity which the Orthodox do not enjoy. Protestants have a valid Trinitarian Baptism and they are incorporated into the body of Christ and should be deemed worthy to be called a Christian though they have not maintained a valid Priesthood nor Apostolic worship. Over time Protestantism, by its very nature, has continued to divide from one another and water down the Christian faith, form of worship and Christian moral view. Off shoots from Protestantism like Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Unitarian, Church of Christian Science and Oneness Pentecostals are not considered Christian and are a completely different religion.

All Christians are to blame for our disunity. The Orthodox in rejecting the Primacy of the Pope, successor of Saint Peter. The Protestants in their revolt creating many man made ecclesial communions not founded by God rejecting parts of the Apostolic Faith. The Catholic Church while having the fullness of Christian Truth, has sinned against our neighbor at times creating unrest in the body of Christ, that was in part responsible for this division.

We pray as Jesus prayed for the unity of all Christians to return to full communion in the Catholic Church, sharing all their gifts in unity at the Eucharistic table of our Lord. We also pray for all non-Christian religions and non-religious to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior reconciling the whole world to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church for their is no salvation except through Jesus Christ. God bless you and please pray for me

anonymous asked:

1) The conflict between Catholic and Orthodox churches is actually MUCH pettier then "is Jesus God or the son of God". Both churches agree that God is one being, existing as three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; the difference is that according to the Orthodox church the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, while the Catholic church believes that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. Over the last millenia (not quite, but nearly) other differencies

2) have emerged, for example, the Orthodox chirch does not accept the concept of Purgatory, but the word “filioque” (“and from the Son”) is basicly what formally started the Schism. - an atheist Russian anon, who for some reason knows all of this

That’s amazingly petty, wow. Thanks for sharing!

The Father is light, the Son is light, the Holy Spirit is light.
Watch what you say, brother, watch lest you go astray!
For the Three are one light, one, not separated,
but united in three persons without confusion.

For God is wholly undivided by nature
and in essence He is truly beyond all essence.
He is not split in power, nor in form, nor in glory,
nor in appearance, for He is contemplated entirely as simple light.

In these the persons are one, the three hypostases are one.
For the Three are in the one, or rather the Three are one,
the Three are one power, the Three are one glory,
the Three are one nature, one essence, and one divinity.

And these are the one light that illuminates the world,
not the world, perish the thought, not this visible world
—for this visible world has not known Him, nor is it
able to know, nor can the friends of the world,
for the one who loves the world is an enemy of God…

Symeon the New Theologian, from Hymn 33

anonymous asked:

Wayfaring, what exactly does having faith mean to you?

To me, having faith means what’s stated in Hebrews 11:1 : “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 

In real life, that is played out as:

  • Believing the basics of my faith: that God is three persons in one, that the Father sent the Son to die for my sins and that the Holy Spirit is with me to guide and grow me; that Jesus rose from the dead after three days and ascended to heaven; that Jesus will return again one day; that the Bible was written by men inspired by God; that God is all knowing, ever-present, and loving; that my salvation is provided by God’s grace alone and cannot be lost and is the start of my progress in becoming more like Christ; that it is my privilege as a believer to share the faith and make more disciples.
  • Trusting God to keep the promises he’s made in the Bible (that he loves and cares for me, has a plan for me, has better ideas and plans for my life than I do, etc) even when I can’t see how he’s working them out in my life.
  • Being patient when I am waiting for God to answer or give direction.
  • Believing there is a reason for the things I experience, both good and bad.
  • Trusting that God knows that reason and will bring good from it, even when I can’t understand it.
  • Being content with not having all the answers.
  • Letting God be the ultimate decision-maker in my life; turning over my life to him.

dubaibae-blog  asked:

Who is the Holy Spirit, and why did God send Him, dear?

The Holy Spirit is God, beloved. He is not an “it”. He is not a divine influence. He is not a fleecy white cloud. He is not a ghost or a concept. He is a person possessing a will, intellect and emotions. He is God – with all the attributes of deity. He is the third person of the Trinity – co-equal with God the Father and God the Son. There is only one God, but He manifests Himself in three persons, whom we call the Trinity.

The Holy Spirit came to glorify Christ and to lead believers into all truth. On the eve of His crucifixion while still in the Upper Room, the Lord Jesus said to the disciples: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

He came to enable you to know Christ through a new birth and to give you the power to live and share the abundant life which Jesus promised to all who trust and obey Him.

You can’t even know Christ apart from the regenerating ministry of the Spirit. It was Jesus, Himself, who said: “Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

It is impossible for you to become a Christian, to understand the Bible and other spiritual truths, to pray, to live a holy life, to witness or do anything for the Lord Jesus apart from the person of the Holy Spirit of God. We need Him more than anything.

I still find the reaction to last night’s episode fascinating, because if anything, the troubling part of it to me had nothing to do with the actual content, and everything to do with the final montage.

Because Amara’s age is much more complicated than whatever actress she is playing. She has been suggested to be a separate entity from the Darkness, though also simultaneously not–which makes sense, given her newly revealed relationship to God. Just as going by Christian theology, God is one being in three persons, we can assume the Darkness is one being in two. Thus, Amara is currently a few weeks old, and sixteen, and millennia old simultaneously. And as we have generally seen, her mind is mainly that of the millennia old being. Just tempered by her current humanity, and with only Crowley attempting to hold power over her by infantilizing her.

Because nothing sexual occurred. Affection was implied, with sort of fond bemusement by her, and baffled confusion by Dean, but the show seemed for their interaction perfectly understanding of the current age line visibly between them. Compare it with the premiere, and it’s easy to see a difference.

But the show certainly was more than happy to strip away both carefully controlled ambiguities with that song choice. The slow sweeping shots, Dean’s drinking her memory away, the lyrics crooning that this girl “will be a woman soon,” forcing the issue of her current age and almost fetishizing the current cusp she’s on. While I’m almost certain the show meant to be foreboding, the lack of threat in the final images (no soul consumption, no demon killing) and the smooth vocals both combine for the most overt sexualization of her that’s happened so far.

Which, this might well be in keeping with the male gaze that’s often afflicted the show, but it certainly wasn’t necessary or welcome.

In hiring employees, religious organizations are allowed to discriminate in favor of their religion but not against any particular other one. What hasn’t been argued in court is whether they can discriminate in favor of categories that include them. (I say yes, but this is admittedly outside the reasoning for allowing the exemption in the first place.)

For instance, a Baptist church can hire exclusively Baptists, but debatably not exclusively Christians.

Me: “What if my religion is “non-Baptist”?”

Professor: “You mean anti-Baptist?”

Classmate: “You mean like the Anabaptists?”

Me: “No, just not a Baptist. My religion is that I do not believe this specific set of tenets. Do I get to discriminate in favor of other non-Baptists?”



So anyway, I hereby found the Disjunctive Non-Baptist Church of Possibly Christ. Doctrine is limited to but need not include the following: 

  • If there is exactly one God, God is in a number of persons that is not three;
  • Baptism is either necessary for salvation or need not be done by immersion or can be done to infants;
  • Churches are to include offices other than deacon and pastor; or
  • Either there exists at least one reliable source of doctrine other than what is ordained in Scripture or Scripture is not such a source.

Note that it is entirely possible to be a Non-Baptist without believing any of the above! The Disjunctive Church of Possibly Christ, in all its compatible denominations, is very accepting of a wide variety of faiths. The only people not welcome here are Baptists.