Agnostics and other "unbelievers" are constantly told by Christians that if they will put away their childish resistance to God, he will reveal himself to them and set them upon the one correct path to salvation.
The following are excerpts from an actual debate between two
Christians on the internet about the Trinity.
The topic of the debate was whether or not Jesus was God. Of particular interest is the fact that an issue as vital and basic to Christianity as this cannot be resolved between two true believers of the same God.
These two believers spin around and around in circles, never being able to establish their assertions as true.
As I have pointed out many times, the Bible means whatever a believer wants it to mean, and the excerpts from this exchange drive the point home as clearly as anything else.
Christian #1 is a Jehovah's Witness and does not
believe in the Trinity(Jesus was not God).
Christian #2 is a Trinitarian(Jesus was God).
Both of these Christian believers think that they have God's word and speak the truth to the world.
Christian #1(Jesus was not God) wrote:
We don't deny the fact that Christ is now a divine being in the heavens.
We worship the God of Jesus Christ, whom Jesus Christ *himself* referred to as 'the only true God' - Jehovah is His name.
Christian #2(Trinity believer) wrote:
There is only one true God, one in essence, three in persons. Christ is divine from eternity.
It is insulting to deny the deity of Jesus Christ since He is God from all eternity, and believing in the doctrine of His deity is essential to Christianity.
So say the creeds, but not the Bible.
God calls Him(Jesus) God, not god, and that is all I need to know.
Jesus Christ voluntarily took a subordinate role to His Father in His role in redemption. This subordination did not in any way make Jesus inferior to the Father as He is equal with the Father in terms of His divine nature.
So being a spirit person(divine) makes one 'equal' to God?
No, angels are divine spirit beings but are not gods or equal to God.
So having 'divine nature' does not necessarily make one God. Right?
The Son is equal with God the Father in essence and nature.
Nowhere does the Bible say this, it is the creed of men.
Instead, Scripture says that The Father is greater. (John 14:28) The Son is *taught* (John 8:28).
One of the things he learned was *obedience* (Heb. 5:8)
What could Almighty God ever *learn*??? To whom would Almighty God be *obedient*???
Jesus *prayed* to God. (Matt. 14:23)
And of course, God does not pray.
Who is Almighty God's 'superior" to whom He would bow His head in prayer? Why is all this obvious evidence of Jesus' subordination to his Father ignored in favor of the creeds of men?
Nothing changes the fact that the Son, the Word made flesh, is God uniquely begotten, not created.
Believe that if you wish. However, the creeds of men are not 'fact'. Nowhere does the Bible make a distinction between 'begotten' and 'created'. To 'beget' something means to start something that was not there before. Look at the long lists of 'begats' and see. The creed of Athanasius does not change Scripture. "Begotten not made" is an oxymoron.
God is one in nature and essence, three in persons.
Nowhere does the Bible say such a thing.
Yes it does.
But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
Heb. chapter one is quoting many different OT verses, one of which is Ps. 45:6: "Your divine throne endures for ever and ever. Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity" Ps. 45:6 RSV "Thy throne given of God is for ever and ever; a sceptre of equity is the sceptre of thy kingdom." Ps. 45:6 Jewish Tanach
This Psalm was originally applied to Solomon, who was certainly not being referred to as God.
In case you don't know, what you have written above is what is meant by the use of Arian reductionism to dishonor the Son of God.
Please address the evidence instead of trying to avoid it.
This is your ruse, but you are exactly right it was not Solomon who was being referred to as God, but God the Son.
You have no evidence to address, but are simply trying to give Christ's proper glory to Solomon.
Since you have no answer for who the "partners" of Almighty God are, I assume that you simply don't wish to bother thinking about it.
Please show chapter and verse where *anyone* is referred to as "God the Son".
Jesus is God's literal Son. As any son, he is younger than his father.
The Father is greater. (John 14:28)
The Son is *taught* (John 8:28).
One of the things he learned was *obedience* (Heb. 5:8)
What could Almighty God ever *learn*??? To whom would Almighty God be *obedient*???
Jesus *prayed* to God. (Matt. 14:23) And of course, God does not pray.
Who is Almighty God's 'superior" to whom He would bow His head in prayer?
Why is all this obvious evidence of Jesus' subordination to his Father ignored in favor of the creeds of men?
You are unable to distinguish between Christ as God, and Christ as a flesh and blood man.
Are there two Christs? Or ONE that was spirit in heaven, flesh on earth?
All that you have written above speaks of Jesus the flesh and blood man.
You are writing about His human nature, God in His incarnation yet dependent on God the > Father and God the Holy Spirit. You confuse the Son of God with the Son of man.
If God had not become man, He could not have died for the sins of His people.
God became a man? Chapter and verse, please.
He became a man for the sake of His own to redeem them.
Yes, Jesus did become a man, not God.
Why would a Supreme Being need to create an inferior being to assist Him in the "other" works of creation?
What was God's deficiency, what did He lack that this creation was needed to supply?
Who is superior, the one who is in need or the one who supplies that need?
Jehovah didn't "need" anyone's "assistance" in creation. He simply granted that *privilege* to His Firstborn Son. Have you not observed that sons often want to be given assignments from a father they hold dear? It isn't that the father "needs" their assistance, but they know it will bring their sons joy.
Of course Jesus the Son of man was subordinate to God the Father.
And after his resurrection, as well as after his ascension, Jehovah was still the God of Jesus Christ:
John 20:17 "Jesus saith to her, `Be not touching me, for I have not yet ascended unto my Father; and be going on to my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and to *my God*, and to your God.'"
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Jesus is the Word, Wisdom, Power, Radiance, Glory, etc. of God because He is God by nature and essence. God places His word above His name.
Chapter and verse, please.
Just as I am 'human' by nature and 'essence' of my parents. But that does not make us a conglomerate 'being', part of which can travel light years away, die, get resurrected by the other parts....nor does it make me the same age as my parents, either.
Call it what you like, but please address the Scriptural evidence presented.
If you believed Jesus' own words you wouldn't dishonor him by denying His deity.
He who dishonors the Son, dishonors the Father.
I don't 'dishonor' Jesus. I *honor* him by worshipping the same God he did - Jehovah is His Name.
Simply accusing others of 'undermining deity' without addressing the evidence they present proves nothing except the prejudices of the accuser.
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. Ye are from beneath, I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. and many others.
And I heartily agree with all of them. Jesus worshipped and prayed to his Father, whose Name is Jehovah. Jesus made his Father's Name known. (John 17:26)
Do you really presume to know the mystery of this begotteness by God the Father of His one and only Son?
I 'presume' that God knows what He is talking about when He calls Himself a Father and Jesus His Son.
If you were going to illustrate that two persons were equal, what family relationship would *you* use?
God has never been without Word, Wisdom, Power, Glory, etc.
He can't be a Father without the Son, the Son can't be the Son without the Father. If a Son, then of the essence of the Father.
Of course. And as every parent knows, one *becomes* a parent by procreating, or, in Jehovah God's case, *creating*. He was obviously not always a parent, just like any parent. His illustrations are perfect, He is capable of expressing Himself so we can understand.
In Rev. 22:13 Jesus says, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Chapter and verse, please where Jesus is the one speaking in that verse.
In all the translations I have, Jesus does not start speaking until verse 16.
In Isa. 6:1 he speaks of seeing Adonai, but John speaks of Isaiah as seeing the glory of Jesus making no distinction between Father and Son because they are one.
Of course. Just HOW are they 'one'?
Jesus explains: John 17:22 And the glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them; *that they may be one, even as we are one*"
So Jesus and his Father are 'one' in the same way Jesus and his followers are 'one' - what way is that?
Isaiah speaks of the then coming Messiah, the child to be born, as Wonderful, Consellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
The mighty God, El Gibbor always refers to God, never a godlike person or hero. It speaks of deity.
No, that is "El-Shaddai" meaning "Almighty God". This expression is applied *exclusively* to Jehovah.
It's not for me to account for discrepancies in various translations.
I believe what is written in the translations I own wherein the Father owns the Son as God ascribing deity to Him.
Believe that if you wish. However, I personally would never use a favorite rendering of a certain verse as a proof text, there would have to be no doubt, on such an important subject as this. *Especially* if each and every one of my 'proof texts' were ambiguous like this.
Peter called Jesus God and our Savior in II Pet. 1:1
Like I said, it is unwise to use a favorite rendering/interpretation of a verse as a proof text, especially since Peter also wrote
1Pe 1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"
Eph 1:17 "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him"
*The God of our Lord Jesus Christ*. Jesus has a God that he worships. God worships *no one* else He wouldn't be God. Since Jesus was in his resurrected, glorified state when this was written, and *no* qualification about only applying to his "human nature" is given, the obvious conclusion is that Jesus worships God while in heaven, as well as while on earth.
Am I going to discontinue believing in the Holy Trinity and the Deity of Jesus Christ when I don't agree with you on these same issues?
Of course not. However, your blind dogmatism does little to prove your case. I don't expect you to discontinue anything, only prove it scripturally, apart from the creeds of men or emotional accusations, and you cannot.
If the love of the Christ does not move you to patiently and kindly teach as he did, then nothing I am going to do is going to change that.
You have produced no scriptural evidence to disprove that Jesus is God.
Believe that if you wish. In my opinion, no worshiper of God is God.
The Son has the same perfections as the Father.
Being begotten of Him, the eternal Son is of the same nature and essence of the Father, who has never been without His Word, Wisdom, Power and Radiance. The Father's essence has never lacked perfection, and the Son being of that same essence could not at some later eternity come forth to enhance it.
The Son is always referred to as begotten of the Father, never as created by the Father.
All occurrences of the phrase "firstborn of" in the OT and NT place all firstborns squarely IN the group of reference. There is *not one* example of the 'firstborn of ___' being OTHER than part of ____. No matter how much it is wished to be otherwise, the "firstborn OF creation" is a created being. Scriptural usage of this word and phrasing dictate the meaning, NOT the creeds of men. And "begotten not made" is STILL an oxymoron; no Scripture can be found that proves otherwise. "Beget" means to start something that was not there before.
I've seen no persuasive evidence presented. The Lord's kingdom and His Kingship are everlasting and He is not voted in.
You haven't heard a word I've said, have you? I'm saying that when making an assertion that a group believes "doctrine A" the burden of proof is on the accusers, NOT the accused.
You deny the Deity of Jesus Christ and attempt to reduce Him to creature status.
That is a lie. I do *not* deny the deity of Jesus Christ, I only deny *your* version.
And I 'reduce' nothing, for Scripture is just right, not too much or too little. I feel that Christians should not be afraid to let God's Word speak and not hide behind fanatical accusations. Simply repeating opinionated accusations proves nothing from Scripture. (End of debate excerpts)
Well, that was interesting wasn't it? Personally, if I was as entranced with the Bible as these two people are, I would find the argument of the "Jesus was not God" position far more compelling than the "Jesus was God" position.
But that's not the purpose of this essay.
This debate was not hundreds of years ago but was on an internet forum in the year 2002.
Christians have had almost 2,000 years to get this fundamental issue straight and they just can't do it, despite having the guidance of the "Holy Spirit" which they claim to be filled with.
Two Christian individuals, who think and claim that the Bible
is God's word, have managed to put on a display that every
unbeliever should take note of.
Clearly, both of these believers think they have the "truth" about the issue of Jesus being God.
Yet an issue as vital, as basic, and as critical as this one cannot be resolved by two of God's followers.
The whole world, the universe, and theological construct for these people revolves around a set of writings they call the Holy Bible. They think this set of man made writings, voted into one book by men, is the word of an all powerful deity which they assert is the only Creator that could possibly exist.
Not only are they sure it exists, they and others like them go around telling others that if they don't also worship this deity, they'll be punished eternally for their "sin".
These believers know this because the Bible says it and the Bible is the word of God.
However, these two believers can't agree if Jesus was God or not.
Excuse me but, Hello??? Anybody home???
How silly all of this human theological rationalizing is.
Did it ever occur to these people that if they, being Holy Spirit filled believers in the "one true God", can't get their story straight, then perhaps what they are attempting to base all of their theological speculations on(the Bible), may not be the word of God after all?
How ironic it is that this God cannot manage to inspire a holy book that leaves no doubt about an issue as important as whether or not Jesus was God. The fact that God's own holy book cannot clearly settle this issue should raise red flags and set of alarms in the mind of any thinking person. The real problem here is that the God defined by the Bible is not consistent because the scripture itself is inconsistent and the specifications of "God" evolved over the ages with the theological notions of the various writers who wrote the scripture.
In other words, the Bible God has evolved over time and has changed according to the thoughts of men.
However, in the final analysis, the Christian issue of
whether or not Jesus was God really isn't all that important.
Either way, the end result is the same.
The Christian God will punish anyone who fails to reach the conclusion that the Bible is the word of God and confesses Jesus as their savior.
This "God" will condemn people for not believing the writings that even his own followers can't use to establish "truth" with. Such a system does not have, nor should it have, credibility to be advertised as the only true or valid expression of spiritual belief.
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