...continued from Trinity on Trial : Act VI
It is impossible to answer all the irrelevant side-issues raised by proponents of the Trinity doctrine. In this series, Trinity on Trial, a selection has been made of the main lines of argument.
The reader is asked to compare the many varied and tortuous theological formulations of the Trinity doctrine with the "doctrines" of Jesus given in the following passages:
Luke 6:20-49, noting particularly the "doeth" of verse 47
"And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed are ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the son of man's sake. Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy : for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in the same manner did their fathers unto the prophets. But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you, ye that are full now! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you , ye that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. Woe unto you , when all men shall speak well of you! for in the same manner did their fathers to the false prophets.
"But I say unto you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you. To him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and from him that taketh away thy cloak withhold not thy coat also. Give to every one that asketh thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. And if ye love them that love you, what thank have ye? for even sinners love those that love them. And if ye do good to them that do good to you, what thank have ye? for even sinners do the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? even sinners lend to sinners, to receive again as much. But love your enemies, and do them good, and lend, never despairing; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be sons of the Most High: for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil.
"Be ye merciful, even as your Father is merciful. And judge not, and ye shall not be judged: and condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: release, and ye shall be released: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, shall they give into your bosom. For with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again.
"And he spake also a parable unto them, Can the blind guide the blind? shall they not both fall into a pit? The disciple is not above his teacher: but every one when he is perfected shall be as his teacher. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me cast out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote that is in thy brother's eye. For there is no good tree that bringeth forth corrupt fruit; nor again a corrupt tree that bringeth forth good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Every one that cometh unto me, and heareth my words, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who digged and went deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock: and when a flood arose, the stream brake against that house, and could not shake it: because it had been well builded.
"But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that built a house upon the earth without a foundation; against which the stream brake, and straightway it fell in; and the ruin of that house was great." (See also James 1:22 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves.")
Compare also the Trinity doctrine with the "doctrines" of the apostles. They preached that the Messiah had come and been killed and raised again according to scripture:
"Of the men therefore that have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of his resurrection."
"And as they spake unto the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, being sore troubled because they taught the people, and proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
"...be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead..."
"Him God raised up the third day, and gave him to be made manifest, not to all the people, but unto witnesses that were chosen before of God, even to us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he charged us to preach unto the people, and to testify that this is he who is ordained of God to be the Judge of the living and the dead."
"And Paul stood up, and beckoning with the hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, hearken: The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they sojourned in the land of Egypt, and with a high arm led he them forth out of it...and after these things he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet...And afterward they asked for a king: and God gave unto them Saul...And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king...Of this man's seed hath God according to promise brought unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus..."
"Brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and those among you that fear God, to us is the word of this salvation sent forth. For they that dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him...And when they had fulfilled all things that were written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead..."
"And we bring you good tidings of the promise made unto the fathers that God hath fulfilled the same unto our children, in that he raised up Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."
"But this I confess unto thee (Governor Felix), that after the Way which they call a sect, so serve I the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets; having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust...Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question before you this day."
'Having therefore obtained the help that is from God, I stand (before Herod Agrippa) unto this day testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses did say should come; how that the Christ must suffer, and how that he first by the resurrection of the dead should proclaim light both to the people and to the Gentiles."
2 Cor. 11:3-13
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort..yea, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead: who delivered us out of so great a death, and will deliver: on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us...For we write no other things unto you, than what ye read or even acknowledge, and I hope ye will acknowledge unto the end."
Where in the gospels will you find a description of Jesus' personality? The example set by the life of Jesus lay in his character in action, his principles, his teachings, and the words that he spoke which were "never to pass away." In total opposition to the benchmarks set by Jesus, the doctrine of the Trinity focuses completely upon the personality of Jesus and the effect which it is assumed he produced upon his contemporaries. To accept this, is to accept that the issues for which he lived and died were issues applicable only to that time, and only to those circumstances...the very antithesis of the gospel message.
Life in the Age to Come is to be found in spirit, not doctrines. Jesus' true message, unfettered by doctrines, brings hope and a sense of human dignity to the despised and rejected of the Earth. The New Testament writers enumerate principles to follow in order that Christians living many centuries later may become 'one' with Jesus. Where John preached the gospel of love, Paul announced redemption by a inner and spiritual identification with Jesus, with a self-imposed crucifixion and resurrection.
The Trinity can deliver no such message. If Jesus of Nazareth were to appear on earth today, he would be unidentifiable in terms of the Trinity.
As a doctrine, it is completely refuted by only one statement - by Paul's description of Jesus as the "last Adam." (1 Corinthians 15:45)