Does Christianity Have A Sacred Cow?
Let’s take a little time to look at what may well be an illusion for the ages. Please forgive me for asking this question out loud but does Christianity have a sacred cow? We all know there are some things we should never question or think about, but let’s go ahead and do it anyway. This will take some bravery on your part but don’t worry! You are totally free to reject everything you are about to read. I just want to share a few thoughts with you that may help you see things in a new light.
Should You Pledge Allegiance?
Beloved, I am your friend and fellow believer in Jesus Christ. We both believe He was born of a virgin and suffered and died a cruel death on the cross for our sake. We both believe he rose from the dead on the third day and now sits at the right hand of God. He is our Savior and Shepherd and High Priest. He is the only begotten Son of God and our Messiah! I suspect we both cherish these truths but there is something else to consider too. Should you pledge allegiance to an old religious dogma that is simply an illusion fabricated by the imaginations of men? This is such an important question that it only makes sense to consider it carefully. You know… understand your options, pray and ask God for insight. Study. Take your time. Sleep on it.
Before the Trinity Was Ever Formulated
Most of us have spent much, if not all of our lives, believing that the only legitimate, safe and orthodox teaching about God and Jesus is the Trinity. I have some shocking and very good news for you though. There is a Biblically harmonious, comprehensible and wonderfully straightforward conception of God and Christ that you should at least learn about. Before the trinity was ever formulated there was a belief that was held by almost all believers in the first three centuries of our faith. You may be totally satisfied with the old wine of Trinitarian dogma, but perhaps not. Regardless, you owe it to yourself to at least see if there is a better alternative.
Ancient Christian Beliefs
There are ancient Christian beliefs that are much more Biblical than the Trinitarian dogma that holds sway over the Body of Christ today. Let’s take a look at what most “primitive” Christians believed long before the church fathers did their work and wrote their creeds. Before these philosopher/theologians assembled under the dubious auspices of a Roman emperor named Constantine there was a simplicity of faith that even unlearned and illiterate believers understood and loved. Many of them died for it.
Those Who Have Eyes to See
Jesus spoke about those “who have eyes to see but see not.” On the other hand some claim to see things that aren’t even there, teaching things that never appear in the Bible. Scripture speaks to this notion in the words of the prophet Ezekiel. “The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man… Say to those who prophecy out of their own imagination; Hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!… Their visions are false.” (Ezekiel 13:1-3,7) No less a personage than Martin Luther himself freely admitted “It is indeed true that the name Trinity is nowhere to be found in the Holy scriptures, but has been conceived and invented by man.” Dr. Benjamin Warfield explains “The doctrine of the trinity lies in the New Testament rather in the form of allusions than in express teaching.” These “allusions” form the basis of the trinity.
Children See Things in the Clouds
Children see things in the clouds. “See! There’s a fish and that one looks just like a bird!” It is innocent fun for children to point out what they see in their own lively imaginations. Best of all is when your companions can also see what you see! This is just harmless child’s play and is great fun. Can you imagine sentencing children to death who don’t see what you want them to see? Would you want to kill them? Does that sound even remotely Christian or is it a profoundly evil impulse? But that’s exactly what happened when church councils created creeds based on what theologians imagined seeing in the “allusions” of scripture. Paraphrasing now, “So, you want to be saved? You better see what we see.. otherwise you’ll be damned and we may have to kill you!”
A Matter of Life and Death?
The Roman Empire (the same empire that crucified Jesus) quickly began to enforce its newly written creeds with violence! Accepting or rejecting the Trinity became a matter of life and death. What would any sensible person do? The typical response eventually became, “Well of course I see what you see! It’s perfectly clear!” Many said, “If our religious leaders claim to see that God is a trinity of three persons then I see it too!” The threat of death had a powerful effect on how well believers could see the new Trinitarian belief about God and Jesus! But, did they really see? There were many who paid an awful price to maintain their integrity. I’ve looked long and hard at the pages of the Bible and I can’t see three co-equal persons at all. All I see in scripture is One God the Father, and His only begotten Son, the man Christ Jesus. My heart is at peace with this and my mind is satisfied too. Now… what about you? What do you see?
PS: Yes… these are radical thoughts aren’t they? Then again, Jesus was pretty radical Himself. Imagine that! Now, shake up your friends! Encourage them to think about these things too. Share a link to wonderfultheology.com with someone today. You’ll be doing them a favor. God Bless.
Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes