The Consequences of Trinity Sunday

ChurchI had no idea there was such a thing as Trinity Sunday until I was sitting in a little, local Lutheran church with my Mom last Sunday and the Pastor was preaching on it. I guess it’s a “thing,” just like Reformation Day, which I’d never heard of either until several years ago. Seriously, I know more about the Jewish religious calendar than the Christian version.

I checked this with my friend Tom earlier today, who had never heard of it either, and he’s been a Christian a lot longer than I have.

Anyway, part of the service included the congregation reciting the Athanasian Creed, which is Christianity’s formal codification of the doctrine of the Trinity, and this supposedly can be traced back to the 6th century CE.

However, the Pastor actually preached about the Nicene Creed, including presenting a pretty sanitized version of the Emperor Constantine.

Apparently, it all began with a 4th century CE presbyter and ascetic (and also a heretic according to Pastor) named Arius, who taught that God the Father was superior to the Son, and that Jesus was a created being like the angels. There’s a Biblical basis for this found in Proverbs 8, but I won’t get into the details.

Apparently, in the first few centuries of the (Gentile) Christian church, there was a lot of disagreement over the nature and character of God and the relationship of God the Father to both Jesus and the Holy Spirit. According to Wikipedia (I know, I know):

Arius is notable primarily because of his role in the Arian controversy, a great fourth-century theological conflict that led to the calling of the first ecumenical council of the Church. This controversy centered upon the nature of the Son of God, and his precise relationship to God the Father. Before the council of Nicaea, the Christian world knew several competing Christological ideas. Church authorities condemned some of these ideas but did not put forth a uniform formula. The Nicaean formula was a rapidly concluded solution to the general Christological debate.

Long story short, Constantine got all the Bishops together (I am severely oversimplifying all of this) to hammer out these issues, and they eventually concluded with the Trinity as we have the doctrine today.

I’m probably going to make a lot of people mad at me, but it seems that between Biblical canon and the present day Church, a bunch of religious authorities got together and decided the exact nature and character of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, the so-called Church Fathers got a few things wrong, in my humble opinion, such as supersessionism or replacement theology. I mean if they could reinvent the nature of Gentile faith in the Jewish Messiah King to eliminate the nation of Israel and the Jewish people, why should I believe they didn’t get the Trinity wrong, too?

See? I told you I’d make people mad. But it gets worse.

Why is the codification of the Trinity any different than the Jewish codification of halakah in Talmud? Okay, I probably just got myself in trouble on a number of levels, but please, give me enough rope to hang myself with. Christianity likes to think of itself as relatively tradition free compared to Judaism, but it seems to me that there are some similarities, at least in terms of process.

You have ancient Christian counsels that got together and defined all kinds of things about Christian belief and praxis, and you have ancient Jewish authorities that got together and (more or less) did the same thing about Jewish belief and praxis. Christians say they are “Bible-believing” and are led to interpret scripture by the Holy Spirit (also “scripture interprets scripture”), but really, what Christians believe and do today, especially relative to the Trinity doctrine, was decided centuries after the last book of the Bible was added, and more centuries after the Gentile Church divorced itself from the original Judaism.

In other words, it may well be that the Apostle Paul had no idea that Jesus was supposed to be the second person of the Godhead.

I know the Pastor of the church I take Mom to every Sunday would call me a heretic too, most Christians would, but how sure are we that we have a Triune God? Just asking.

46 thoughts on “The Consequences of Trinity Sunday”

  1. Anyone that has the ability to think objectively should recognize that the trinity is a theological position. Unfortunately every denomination is steeped in theology and, in my opinion, most denominations hinge their version of salvation on that theology. I am not trying to be intentionally disrespectful, but I understand your post and couldn’t agree more.

  2. James, enjoyed reading your Post. I would like to see you continue with this subject, especially as it pertains to the divinity of Yeshua and Who the early Jewish disciples understood Him to be after His resurrection.

  3. Sorry, but when I saw the title of your post, I laughed out loud! Still laughing! I would have been looking for the door had I been there, but after all, you were there for your mom, like a good son. Who says we have to get our “orthodoxy” from Roman Catholicism? Constantine, that’s who. “Orthodoxy” based on their creed is man-made interpretation that does not have to dictate the lives of those not bound to Constantine and the trickle-down. I will stick with the Shema and embrace the mystery! Blessings, James!

    1. Yes Linda, we should not stick to human doctrines, but to the Word of God Which is handed out to us in so many different translations that nobody can say in this present time he or she could not read the Word in a language he or she could understand.

      The Word of God is the Only Word infallible, Which we should read, study and believe! there are no hidden agenda’s in that word. The letters say it all black on white. One does not have to have done a university course in theology to comprehend God’s Word. God is not such a cruel God He would withhold the necessary wisdom from those who can not read or study.

      God is a loving God Who wants all to come to Him. And He gives that opportunity to all who want to listen and have an eye and an ear for HIm.

  4. I keep hearing about this supersessionism position in my morning bible study. The gentleman giving the lessons has refuted it. Every time he has mentioned it I ask myself “who are these people”? I’ve never been introduced (or maybe that should be indoctrinated) to this mind set. I have always been taught, and believe, that the Jews, Israel, are God’s people. God’s grace is wide enough to accommodate Jew and Christian alike.

    1. All people are creatures by God, and as such all are sons and daughters of God, but the Jews are placed in a particular privileged position, them being the Chosen People of God. It was only centuries later that the way was prepared by the son of God to have non-Jews (Goy) to be justified as well to come closer to God and great Him as their Father.

  5. I enjoyed reading your opening post, and I did wonder early on if you were going to get to the worse parts. You touched on the worst, ever so briefly, and I appreciate the direction in which you went from there [leaving the very worst to another time (probably both previously and in the future)]. Judaism and Christianity are sort of bible based (not nearly as much so as Christianity wants to think — whether or not that is or should be the goal). And I agree with what Terry said about being steeped in theology, and that most denominations hinge their idea of salvation on said theology. Sadly, it is too common that not seeming theologically “saved” can mean not being counted as safe in this world either (in a variety of ways).

  6. Well, James, you chose your title well for this essay, I must say. Consequences, indeed! What happens to faith if one of its primary tenets is challenged and is shown to be false? What if the Jews are right to insist that G-d is One and that there is no other? Then “Jesus” isn’t actually a member of any sort of “godhead”, and one’s understanding of him must be completely re-evaluated. Whom, then, can one rely upon for salvation? How does it work? What becomes of the special status as an “only-begotten” son? So many fundamental doctrinal questions must be opened up for re-examination, and new solutions expressed. So many phrases in the Greek language of the apostolic writings must be re-examined to find what they actually were meant to tell to their original audience in their historical cultural context. Can the gentiles of the nations of the human family re-root their faith to trust in the unitary Heavenly Father whom haRav Yeshua ben-Yosef addressed? If these gentiles are to be weaned away from Trinitarianism or Triunitarianism or Tridolatry, and are not to view Rav Yeshua as a demigod, in what way does he serve them to guarantee their salvation? How are they to understand his role as a “Lamb of G-d”, as Yohanan described him, or as the highly exalted lord or master whom Rav Shaul described to the Philippians in Phil.2:5-11, or as one who may sit at HaShem’s right hand, who ultimately will rule a millennial messianic kingdom?

    Since I don’t mind plunging right into this controversy, let me begin by pointing out that being honored with the favor of sitting at HaShem’s right hand is not the same as being made equal with Him, nor does it mean that such a one is a deity or a participant in a godly pantheon, even one that is limited to only two or three persons. Indeed, Isaiah quotes HaShem (in his chapter 45) making four unambiguous statements clarifying that He is the only G-d, and that there is no other one beside Him. This is, of course, completely consonant with Deut.6:4, the “Shm’a”, and emphasizes His One-ness that is explicitly stated there (lest anyone should be thinking otherwise). While that ought to have been clear enough, apparently the Nicene Council was not sufficiently convinced to allow it to avoid misinterpreting apostolic statements about Rav Yeshua’s own exalted role.

    A few months ago I was discussing a similar disagreement about Trinitarianism on another blog, and the question was posed about Rav Yeshua’s request to his Father in John 17:5 to be restored to the glory that he had with Him “before the world was”. The traditional Christian inference is, of course, that this proves the existence of Rav Yeshua as a co-Creator with his Father. What is missing from their knowledge base, however, is a traditional Jewish view that all human neshamot (souls) were created together as the family of Adam, or the Adamic species, and distributed across time to be placed into their designated physical bodies, including that of Rav Yeshua. As neshamot, they share with HaShem the “imago dei”, the “image of G-d”, and thus they are “divine”. They, like the angels, and like HaShem Himself, evidence the “metaphysical” characteristic of divinity. They are thus also “sons of G-d”. They are not, however, deities nor to be confused with the One Deity HaShem. One must recognize that divinity is not identical with deity, lest one become an idolater. One must recognize the difference that, in English, we represent with lower-case and upper-case spellings of the words “gods” and “G-d”. For example, this distinction is understood implicitly in the Hebrew text of Psalm 82:6 that was actually a criticism of some human judges: “אֲנִי-אָמַרְתִּי, אֱלֹהִים אַתֶּם; וּבְנֵי עֶלְיוֹן כֻּלְּכֶם.”; “I said: You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High.”. This distinction is clarified in verse 7: “אָכֵן, כְּאָדָם תְּמוּתוּן; וּכְאַחַד הַשָּׂרִים תִּפֹּלוּ.”; “Nevertheless you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.”. Hence, even without upper- and lower-case letters, the Hebrew text maintains the distinction. Now, for another perspective on the “glory” of divinity to which Rav Yeshua referred in his request, consider Rav Shaul’s comments to the Corinthians about resurrection in chapter 15 of his first letter. He cites varying degrees of glory observed in the heavens as “star differs from star”, and likens this to the resurrection whereby one is buried as a “perishable body” and raised as “an imperishable body … raised in glory … a spiritual body”. And he observes that “Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.”. So, while Rav Yeshua was, in fact, “uniquely begotten” (note the important variation on the traditional English translation “only begotten”), and he referred to himself at times as the “son of man”, evoking the character described in the book of Daniel, he is a son of G-d in the same sense that anyone may be a son of G-d, even an angel in a fiery furnace as in Dan.3:25. Ultimately, all who return to HaShem will be restored to the glory of their divinity that they shared with Him from the beginning of this world that He created and set them to tend His metaphorical garden therein.

    There is, of course, much more theology to discuss on this topic, including the questions about how an ancient human Israeli rabbi can function as a metaphorical “Lamb of G-d” and guarantee atonement, forgiveness, salvation, and redemption to other human beings. To begin pursuit of that understanding, one must understand how the physical animal sacrifices that HaShem prescribed for Israel did so, regardless of their limited applicability. Then one may extrapolate the process to an unlimited eternal image of sacrifice, and the psycho-spiritual process by which one may engage with it. However, I’ve written enough for now – more than enough to open a controversial discussion.

    1. This is why you are so much more intelligent and insightful than I, my friend. All I know is to point at the question. I’ll never really understand the answer, that is, until Messiah comes. In the meantime, the “Church” will consider us heretics together.

    2. Thank you so much for commenting on our souls that were also one with God before our designated time here on earth. Y’shua is truly our brother!

  7. @SteveSpindler18 – Your request to James is a big one. I have taken a ton of personal time digging into this subject and the research is not easy as the road is paved with different theologies, doctrine, interpretations, and opinions. Each as convinced as the other that they are completely right and all others are wrong. The reality is that this comes down to a matter of reading between some lines and, quite honestly for some, a matter of faith.

    I do not quickly recommend people begin this research because it can lead to a crisis of faith. In my case, I was a teenager when I started questioning the trinity and the divinity of Yeshua (Jesus at that time in my life). My questioning came from simple reading of scripture and not reading any clear passages claiming his divinity, again from my perspective only. When I asked my dad, his response was to get offended and tell me not to question the church or the pastor.

    30+ years later, I decided to take some time to do my own digging. Again, this didn’t lead to a crisis of faith for me. It only lead to a deeper love of God and a stronger belief that Yeshua was (is) the messiah, but as a man annointed by God and not God Himself.

    As James said, this is blasphemous for some and can cause some significant challenges in your own faith if you aren’t prepared, not to mention can damage relationships you have with other believers if you share your concerns, doubt, research, etc. Be open to seeking truth from God directly. Always reserve your right to be wrong and have faith that when the messiah comes, all of these questions will be settled.

  8. Under “Arianism” at Wikipedia:

    Nonetheless, the Ecumenical First Council of Nicaea of 325, convened by Emperor Constantine to ensure Church unity, deemed Arianism to be a heresy.”[9] According to Everett Ferguson, “The great majority of Christians had no clear views about the nature of the Trinity and they did not understand what was at stake in the issues that surrounded it.”[9]

    Ten years later, however, Constantine the Great, who was himself baptized by the Arian bishop Eusebius[*] of Nicomedia,[10][11] convened another gathering of Church leaders at the regional First Synod of Tyre in 335 (attended by 310 bishops), to address various charges mounted against Athanasius by his pro-Arius detractors, such as “murder, illegal taxation, sorcery, and treason”, following his refusal to readmit Arius into fellowship.[6] Athanasius was exiled to Trier (in modern Germany) following his conviction at Tyre of conspiracy, and Arius was, effectively, exonerated.[12] Athanasius eventually returned to Alexandria in 346 A.D., two years after the deaths of both Arius and Constantine; though Arianism had spread, Athanasius and other trinitarian Church leaders crusaded against the theology, and Arius was again anathemised and pronounced a heretic once more at the Ecumenical First Council of Constantinople of 381 (attended by 150 bishops).[13][6] The Roman Emperors Constantius II (337–361) and Valens (364–378) were Arians or Semi-Arians, as was the first King of Italy, Odoacer (433?–493), and the Lombards were also Arians or Semi-Arians until the 7th century. Visigothic Spain was Arian until 581. Many Goths when they converted to Christianity adopted Arian beliefs. The Vandal regime in North Africa actively imposed Arianism.

    [* None of this is to indicate Eusebius was a nice guy or a white hat player… and he is largely responsible for the supercessionism that Constantine adopted (or used for purposes of declaring unity under his reign). I didn’t read that at Wikipedia. The supposed unity was, of course, at the expense of those who didn’t agree.]

  9. Sorry to say James, but your post on the trion god is a big hoax doctrine and it is a waste of time to discuss it. Because it was only a misunderstood knowledge created by those psuedo gentile religions, for they did not really knows the truth of the message context that was written in Mt. 28:19.. Which even those original messianic disciples that still living today never contested this hoax doctrine. And this is because they understand and observe what Jesus Christ have fore warn advice to them in Mc. 4:11, “unto you, (which Jesus Christ referring it to all the covenantal Israeli) that were given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God. But unto them that are without (which Jesus Christ referring to all those people that are not covered by the Covenant Plan of God and these are those literal gentile peoples). And all these things are done in parables.” And on verses 12-13 just read it for additional knowledge. And unto this fact, even those living original messianic nowadays did not tackle this hoax doctrine teachings by those gentile religions. Because they knew these people could not understand the truth of the mystery of the Kingdom of God, for it is very clear it is only given and rewarded to all those chosen covenantal Israeli. So they let them to their own understanding of this parable writing of Mt. 28:19. And thou can check this kind of teaching to all psuedo gentile religion even today. That’s why all gentile religions were all already condemn judged by Jesus Christ in Mt. 25:31-46 ever since his glory’s reign. Which we have already elaborated in this blog but many could not grasp the truth by many viewers.

    LOVE : New Jerusalem – Holy City

  10. Here is the letter Constantine “the Great” sent out, in his position of power:

    “Constantine, august, to the Churches.

    “Having experienced, in the flourishing state of public affairs, the
    greatness of the divine goodness I thought it especially incumbent on me to
    endeavor that the happy multitudes of the Catholic [i.e. universal] Church
    should preserve one faith, be united in unfeigned love, and harmoniously join
    in their devotions to Almighty God. But this could not otherwise be effected
    in a firm and solid manner, than by an examination, for this purpose, of
    whatever pertains to our most holy religion, by all the bishops, or the
    greater part of them at least, assembled together. Having therefore convened
    as many as possible, I myself being present, and, as it were, one of you,
    (nor do I deny that I exceedingly rejoice in being your fellow-servant,)
    every thing was examined, until a unanimous sentiment, pleasing to God, who
    sees all things, was brought to light; so that no pretence was left for
    dissension or controversy respecting the faith.
    “When the question arose concerning the most holy day of Easter, it was
    decreed by common consent to be expedient, that this festival should be
    celebrated on the same day by all, in every place. For what can be more
    beautiful, what more venerable and becoming, than that this festival, from
    which we receive the hope of immortality, should be suitably observed by all
    in one and the same order, and by a certain rule. And truly, in the first
    place, it seemed to every one a most unworthy thing that we should follow the
    custom of the Jews in the celebration of this most holy solemnity, who,
    polluted wretches! having stained their hands with a nefarious crime, are
    justly blinded in their minds.
    “It is fit, therefore, that, rejecting the practice of this people, we should
    perpetuate to all future ages the celebration of this rite, in a more
    legitimate order, which we have kept from the first day of our Lord’s passion
    even to the present times. Let us then have nothing in common with the most
    hostile rabble of the Jews. We have received another method from the
    Saviour. A more lawful and proper course is open to our most holy religion.
    In pursuing this course with a unanimous consent, let us withdraw ourselves,
    my much honored brethren, from that most odious fellowship.
    “It is indeed in the highest degree preposterous, that they should
    superciliously vaunt themselves, that truly without their instruction, we
    cannot properly observe this rite. For what can they rightly understand,
    who, after the tragical death of our Lord, being deluded and darkened in
    their minds, are carried away by an unrestrained impulse wherever their
    inborn madness may impel them. Hence therefore it is, that, even in this
    particular, they do not perceive the truth, so that continually wandering in
    the grossest error, instead of duly reforming their calculation, they
    commemorate the passover twice in the same [Roman] year. Why then should we
    follow those who are acknowledged to labor under a grievous error? for we
    will never tolerate the keeping of a double passover in one year.
    “But if what I have said should not be thought sufficient, it belongs to your
    ready discernment, both by diligence and prayer, to use every means, that the
    purity of your minds may not be affected by a conformity in any thing with
    the customs of the vilest of mankind. Besides, it should be considered that
    any dissension in a business of such importance, and in a religious
    institution of so great solemnity, would be highly criminal. For the Saviour
    has bequeathed us one festal day of our liberation, that is, the day of his
    most holy passion; and it was his pleasure that his Church should be one; the
    members of which, although dispersed in many and various places, are yet
    nourished by the same spirit, that is by the will of God.
    “Let the sagacity of your holiness only consider, how painful and indecorous
    it must be, for some to be experiencing the rigors of abstinence, and others
    to be unbending their minds in convivial enjoyment on the same day; and after
    Easter, for some to be indulging in feasting and relaxation, while others are
    occupied in the observance of the prescribed fasts. Wherefore, that a
    suitable reformation should take place in this respect, and that one rule
    should be followed, is the will of divine providence, as all, I think, must
    “As it is necessary that this fault should be so amended that we may have
    nothing in common with the usage of these parricides and murderers of our
    Lord; and as that order is most convenient which is observed by all the
    churches of the West, as well as those of the southern and northern parts of
    the world, and also by some in the East, it was judged therefore to be most
    equitable and proper, and I pledged myself that this arrangement should meet
    your approbation, viz. that the custom which prevails with one consent in the
    city of Rome, and throughout all Italy, Africa and Egypt, in Spain, Gaul,
    Britain, Lybia, the whole of Greece, the diocese of Asia, Pontus and Cilicia,
    would be gladly embraced by your prudence, considering that not only the
    greatest number of churches exist in the places which have been already
    mentioned, but also that it is most religious and equitable that all should
    wish what the strictest reason seems to require, and to have no fellowship
    with the perjury of the Jews.
    “And, to sum up the whole in a few words, it was agreeable to the common
    judgment of all, that the most holy feast of Easter should be celebrated on
    one and the same day. Nor is it becoming, that in so sacred an observance
    there should be any diversity; and it is better to follow that decision, in
    which all participation in the sin and error of others is avoided.
    “This being the case, receive with cheerfulness the heavenly and truly divine
    command. For whatever is transacted in the holy councils of the bishops, is
    to be referred to the divine will. Wherefore, having announced to our
    beloved brethren what has been already written, it is your duty to receive
    and establish the arguments already stated, and the observance of the most
    holy day; that when I shall come into your beloved presence, so long desired
    by me, I may be able to celebrate, with you, on one and the same day, the
    holy festival, and that in all things I may rejoice with you; seeing that the
    cruelty of the devil is taken away by divine power, through my
    instrumentality, and that your faith, your peace and concord is everywhere
    “May God preserve you, my beloved brethren.” [8]

    In this letter, Constantine officially establishes an anti-Judaic foundation
    for the doctrine and practice of the Church, and declares that contempt for
    the Jews, and separation from them, is the only proper Christian attitude. ……………

    All of this was written so that no [accepted person] would celebrate [or permit] Passover [or any authority in Jewish leadership or the calendar of the apostles]. …..

    The most revealing question to ask is, “When did God give such authority over the Church to Constantine?” It is a question that was not really articulated at that time nor in most of the sixteen and a half centuries since.

    The relationship of Church and State which began under Constantine was seen as the greatest blessing of God.

    Dan Gruber (20th century)

    [From “FOOTNOTES” in The Church and The Jews, Gruber:
    The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus, op. cit., ……
    8. ibid., Pp.51-54, following the ecclesiastical history. ]

    1. I think note eight (above) as well as note thirteen (below) are from Book Four (of the not very reliable history written by Eusebius).

      As a final note on the Council of Nicea, Canon VII speaks of the Bishop of Aelia. “Aelia” is the name that the Roman Emperor Hadrian had given to Jerusalem after the end of the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

      “Canon VII: Since custom and ancient tradition require that the bishop of
      Aelia be held in veneration, let him have the next degree of honor to the
      metropolitan [the bishop of Caesarea], without prejudice to the appropriate
      authority of the latter.” [13]

      Jerusalem had her name taken away, and she was placed in subjection to the church that had embraced Origen. Constantine and Eusebius [who had learned from Origen] institutionalized many serious errors.

  11. This is an issue I had problems with during my ever-so noncommittal church life ages past.

    Mythographer that I am, I knew that G-d speaking to a plurality in Genesis was really but the Council of the Gods – or as the Hebrews saw it, the gods who were created by the Most High. Today we call them angels.

    Dale Tuggy has a nice little book of questions entitled “What Is The Trinity,” a unitarian thinkpiece that pretty much dismantles trinitarianism simply by illustrating its development, its wobbly evolution, and its philosophical holes.

    I have told G-d in sincerity that I do not know the nature of Yeshua and Messiah, but so much of the language swaddling Trinitarian thought seems alien to the Bible. Once you start using words like “substance,” “being vs non-being,” “element,” “personae,” “nature,” you’ve stepped outside the Jewish mindset altogether. I have resigned that one or a combination of things about Yeshua could be true:

    1. Trinity is true.
    2. Binity is true.
    3. G-d has infinite aspects to his being, 3 of which have been revealed.
    4. Yeshua is a man, made divine in away that we will all be made divine without distinction.
    5. Modalism is true, and G-d is concurrently in heaven and in a mask, not in a pillar of smoke but in a life.
    6. Inter alia.

    I remain open to any and everything on that list, but I’m very poisoned against Trinitarianism, if I’m honest. If HaShem shows me otherwise, I guess I’ll agree to it.

    After my recent marriage, I was asked to visit a Messianic congregation in Bogota, Colombia, where my wife grew in faith. I was expecting charismatic schlock but soon discovered that they said the prayers and riffed on Gemara every shabbos. I was impressed. They asked me what I thought about the trinity. Now, I’m fluent in Spanish, so I told them the following:

    “Looking at the life and ministry of the Master, I don’t think he would say to the average wheat farmer: ‘I want you to accede to certain recondite philosophical propositions about my nature.’ No. I think his bag was: ‘look at what I do, and do likewise.'”

    Augustine considered the personae emanations, if I recall. This sounds eerily similar to the 10 sephirot. But regardless of whether or not they are a 1-1 comparison, I think they share a esoterism. If I were to convert to Judaism tomorrow, I would have to say and agree to some core principles such as the 13. However…nobody would keep the gates demanding that I confess the truth of Jacob’s Ladder in order to be a Jew. And it is that very elevation of the Trinity as a touchstone of faith that bothers me about it — using an esoterism to guard the gates.

  12. Hi James,

    Haven’t had time to look through all comments, but having been raised a Catholic then joining the Episcopal church as an adult, liturgy and tradition are the norm for me.

    About 12 years ago I started worshiping at a non-denominational church, which was a cultural shock. However, my liturgical upbringing made it easy for a transition to Messianic Judaism and accepting of the traditions of Judaism.

    I am always disturbed when non-denominational believers vehemently bash Catholics and Jews. In my humble opinion, they have strayed so far from the faith and understanding of Scripture because of this hatred of tradition.

    To be honest, I left a MJ congregation because it was too much like a non-denominational church. Having attended PL’s congregation in Israel, I am longing for a similar congregation in south Florida and not finding any.

    1. Thanks, David, for adding some depth to the discussion, via this link to Rabbi Dr. Kinzer’s discussion (which I’ve read previously). However, it seems to me that he was too much interested in trying to retain some sense of validity for the fundamentally-flawed Nicene approach and interpretation of the Greek text and its terminology. While the Arian approach was not really any better, that cannot justify the Nicene errors. In my previous post, I tried to start the conversation afresh from the fundamental perspective presented in Is.45 that elaborates the uniqueness presented in the Shm’a. This dual witness of the Torah and the Prophets must color the reading of the apostolic writings. Dr. Kinzer wrote in passing that references to Rav Yeshua as G-d are rare in the apostolic record. This is incorrect: they are non-existent. The few passages where it is attempted to read them in such fashion do not recognize the underlying Hebrew idiom and thought-framework. If one begins with the unassailable requirement that HaShem. is ONE, then one reads these passages differently and has no difficulty in recognizing their intent, their sense. By the time of Nicea, however, there were too many gentiles in the ecclesia who were too distant from this Jewish sensibility and too much vested in the effort to exalt Rav Yeshua. Failing to find sufficient exaltation on the human level, they had to redefine him as more than human, because in their wordlview humans could not be exalted. They could not be satisfied with the kind of view expressed by the Psalmist who quoted HaShem in Ps.82 as referencing the divinity of even bad human judges. Simply put, they were trying too hard, in the wrong ways, to make something valuable of Rav Yeshua because they did not understand adequately in what ways he truly was special. However, if one recognizes in modern Judaism the reflection of how ancient Judaism also could honor and exalt various rabbis, then reading honorific passages in the apostolic writings does not require jumping through the theological hoops that we see reflected in the Nicene documents.

      1. Something that stood out to me was that there was fluidity and gradient to worship itself. Avodah.

        If David were sitting in his megaron, courtiers would bring him tribute and gifts. They might sing songs in his praise (David has slain his ten thousands). They would be offering him avodah.

        To the Church Fathers, this act would mean divinity only.

        While I was having this conversation, a friend was clearing the table. I thanked her for ‘worshipping us’ so kindly.

      2. I don’t think the true nature of Yeshua, as described in the Gospels and the Epistles, is easily understood, primarily because of how Christian tradition has had to refactor the Biblical text in order to minimize or delete the vital importance of Israel and the Jewish people in Hashem’s redemptive plan for the world. Can Yeshua be unique and divine without being a deity or part of the deity? That’s a question not easily raised within a church context.

    1. Greetings, David. I believe you posted this link in the comments earlier and PL provided a rebuttal. I’m circling back on this conversation thread now and will give it a read.

      1. James,
        It looks like there’s a two minute difference between when David posted that once and then again.

  13. In that case, there is not only “fluidity” (you’d have to explain that one more, not sure about it) and “gradient” (for sure, and that’s a significant part of how I see things) — but also mutuality (maybe that’s your fluidity). Because it’s clear God (and the Messiah) also serve man.

    1. For more clarity, this post (on July first) of mine was in response to Sleepwalker
      JULY 1, 2019 AT 6:55 AM
      Something that stood out to me was that there was fluidity and gradient to worship itself. Avodah.


  14. Encouraged by this discussion! I have taken the liberty of passing it on to a couple friends who are in agreement with me that this conversation should continue!

    1. Planning on circling back when I get the bandwidth, Pat. In the meantime, there’s a Messianic Jewish teacher/speaker from New Zealand here in Idaho now. He’s going to be teaching an all day class on discipleship this coming Saturday (I know, right?) at the Lutheran church where I take my Mom. I signed up to to the class just out of curiosity, plus, I’m not sure it’s possible to disciple people today in the manner Yeshua and the other rabbis of his era did.

  15. Just came back from an all day seminar on Discipleship given by Scott Brown from Chosen People Ministries. He lives and works at a ministry in New Zealand, and I must say it was much better than I expected. A lot of information to unpack, so I’ll probably be blogging on it in the days and weeks again. In the meantime, let’s feel free to continue with this discussion. Pat, I would be interested should any of your friends like to contribute their thoughts and opinions.

  16. James, so glad you’re going to blog for a while on your conference! Hated for you to mostly quit, but you gotta do what’s right for you, I realize. 😉

  17. Peace be to all and a good health.
    Hello guys, this is the continuation of our objection to the trion god as a hoax doctrine. Besides, this trion god term was not even taught in the whole O.T. period and even to the N.T. by all the prophet. Anyhow, we also proved each falsehood by the reason of the fore warn advice of Jesus Christ in Mk. 4:11. But we also think that this knowledge is not still enough to many researchers with poor spiritual knowledge of the Bible to understand us. So the truth which we also forget in this fact, that we are all still covered by this message of Mk. 4:11. Because even we are all now in our present 2nd Advent Period which God also revealed that the priority people that can avail to his promise covenant salvation were those still Leftseeds (Israelites) that were now all crossbreed to many different gentile nationalities. And now even those literal gentiles that also believe and love God and observe all of God’s righteous law and will now submit and to comply to his Will Covenant Plan by believing Jesus Christ died and rose again from the dead. They can possibly avail this Last Promise Covenant Salvation of God, read 1Tes. 4:13-18 and other apostles writings. So back to the topic, but the primary problem we already foresighted is still from the many Bible readers and researchers that were all very fanatics, that they even whole heartedly trust their faith believe to the false teaching of their affiliated religion. And does not have even any means of interest of comparing their known teaching by checking them in the writings of the Bible or have check of any corruption made in the scriptures. As an example of checking in the writing made in the translation of Mt. 28:19 which states ” go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” And many Bible readers never notice the many corruption made by those Bible translators. And the primary corruption they made is there is no disciple hiring. And the 2nd corruption made is by changing the grammar context in to generalization as a common noun from its original proper noun context message. And the 3rd corruption made, is by changing the original translation of the liturgical blessing or the baptism into the annointing liturgical blessing of God to a chosen prophet. And into this knowledge made by the translator which they believes is much better higher blessings to execute. In which there is a proper plan for it that only God could bless it. And the 4th corruption they made was by adding a wrong conjunction “and” to the preposition only “of” to the sentence “of the Holy Spirit” that resulted to trion god believes to many which is very wrong and abominable to God to personify those terminology to our living God.

    And this all happen for not knowing the whole truth of the New Covenant Plan of God is of the Holy Spirit Covenant Period. Which God the Father and the Son set aside their selves to give all the honor to the Holy Spirit only. So, all the written liturgy now in all the N.T. gospels were all in the misunderstood liturgy and a hoax to apply it in any person. Which is now scattered throughout the world and used by all the religions in the world. Now, is Jesus Christ was wrong to condemn judge all the religions of the world? And this is the correct original liturgy blessing for the baptism, is to teach and must be known the Name of the father spirit and of the Son spirit which is Jesus Christ is the name, which is the original context essence of the imposed order of Jesus Christ in Mt. 28:19.. Which all the chosen call out 144,000 Israeli that have a mark in their forehead. And frankly speaking, without recieving and knowing the names of the Holy Spirit thou could not enter to the Kingdom of God, Jn. 3:3-5 read it. This is an impose covenant order by God to Jesus Christ.

    LOVE : New Jerusalem – Holy City

  18. Please may we correct: you saying “included the congregation reciting the Athanasian Creed, which is Christianity’s formal codification of the doctrine of the Trinity, and this supposedly can be traced back to the 6th century CE.”

    First of all the doctrine of the three-headed god was introduced into the Christian community in the 4th century. Those who wanted ot stay following the real Nazarene Jew, Jeshua and did not agree with the name change to Issou (Hail Zeus) and having him made in a part of a three-headed god, stayed united following Jeshua his teaching and continuing forming groups which we call denominations of Christianity. the others agreeing with the Romans their rules and equality with their gods became part of what we call Christendom, having that first Roman Catholic Church also having different schism, forming Christendom.

    Real Christians are those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ (Jeshua) and would never agree with that doctrine of the Trinity nor would they ever follow the many pagan feasts, like Christmas and Easter.

    You have good reason to say ” the so-called Church Fathers got a few things wrong, in my humble opinion, such as supersessionism or replacement theology. ”
    Real followers of Jeshua (Jesus Christ) should therefore abstain from any of their false teachings and keep to the Laws of Christ and Laws of God.

    It is in Christendom that you may find ancient Christian counsels that got together and defined all kinds of things about Christian belief and praxis, which people just had to accept, many considered to be a doctrine because our human mind could not cope with it. As if God would give us such a complicated Word non-educated people could not understand!

    Perhaps you may find a lot of Christians who say they are “Bible-believing” but the majority of those calling themselves Christian never read the Bible. Real Christians, consider it as being a duty, and may perhaps like Jews being found as regular Bible readers and sometimes even as “mosquito sifters” or having Pharisaic attitudes.

    Please do not generalise by saying “really, what Christians believe and do today, especially relative to the Trinity doctrine, was decided centuries after the last book of the Bible was added, and more centuries after the Gentile Church divorced itself from the original Judaism.” A lot of Christians do not follow the false teachings of the trinity and keep to the teachings of Jesus which, him being a Jew would also be considered as being in an extended line of the Jewish teachings, with the difference of the laws of the New Covenant.

    You end with “it may well be that the Apostle Paul had no idea that Jesus was supposed to be the second person of the Godhead.” But neither Paul, Jesus nor any disciple of Jesus ever thought such a matter that Jesus would have been God, having come to earth to fake his temptation, torturing, death and resurrection, them all very well knowing that God as an eternal Supreme Sprit Being can not be seen by man and can be not tempted nor killed by man. Jesus was seen by many and really tempted, bullied, tortured, killed and raised from the dead.

    …. It differs from the Nicene-Constantinopolitan and Apostles’ Creeds in the inclusion of anathemas, or condemnations of those who disagree with the creed (like the original Nicene Creed).


    …. The creed has never gained acceptance in liturgy among Eastern Christians since it was considered as one of many unorthodox fabrications that contained the Filioque clause. Today, the Athanasian Creed is rarely used even in the Western Church. When used, one common practice is to use it once a year on Trinity Sunday.[3]

    Filioque (Ecclesiastical Latin: [filiˈokwe]) is a Latin term added to the original Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (commonly known as the Nicene Creed), and which has been the subject of great controversy between Eastern and Western Christianity. It is not in the original text of the Creed, attributed to the First Council of Constantinople (381), the second ecumenical council, which says that the Holy Spirit proceeds “from the Father”, without additions of any kind, such as “and the Son” or “alone”.[1]

    In the late 6th century, some Latin Churches added the words “and from the Son” (Filioque) to the description of the procession of the Holy Spirit….

  20. I’m no Torah/Bible expert, scholar, or anything close, but I do enjoy reading a verse or two when someone points something out that I never heard of, or sounds interesting. To me, it’s pretty obvious that God started everything and set it all in motion. I do find it a bit strange however, that since Jews wrote all the books in question here, it only makes sense that…whoever it was…would say that his “tribe” was the “chosen people”, right? I mean what knucklehead would write a bunch of stories and make some other group the “chosen ones”? But, if you’re looking for a “super hero” try Marvel Comics. Numerous characters with super human powers, and, just as a coincidence, the characters were also invented by a Jew…Stan Lee. Sadly, however, Mr. Lee died recently and along with him his wonderful imagination. Hope no one gets too bent out of shape by a bit of levity.

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