Indictments of the Modern, Evangelical Church

I have been attempting to distill, from my studies, where we, as the invisible church in our visible churches, have gone astray. Surely, we may profess Christianity, yet, in the process, we defile the very object of our worship by directly contradicting or failing to execute his written Word.

The following items, in no particular order, I believe to be far too common in our churches today. Except in some of the most conservative denominations, or, in other cases, the most conservative within broader denominations, we have committed many of the following errors. Yes, these errors may have been incidental at times, but, on the whole, these are now habits and practices adopted even by some who like to coin the “five solas” within their church’s mission statements or beliefs.

My hope is that this list convicts us to return to the most holy, ordained practices of our Lord, as prescribed in Scripture. Most importantly, if it does nothing else, I hope that it serves as a list of items about each of which we are not afraid to ask ourselves, “Have I failed to do this thing? Am I guilty of this mistake?”

Your comments and questions, even if they are to the contrary, are always welcome.

  1. We have failed to preach Christ and Him crucified.
  2. We have failed to make clear the exclusivity of Christ.
  3. We have failed to separate false doctrine from sound doctrine.
  4. We have either directly or indirectly supported false conversions in the use of the emotionally-charged altar call and/or decisional salvation.
  5. We have dishonored the traditions of the spiritual fathers in our faith by making a public mockery of either the traditions, the men and their followers, or both.
  6. We have lied by claiming inerrancy and authority of scripture without acting on this precious tenet.
  7. We have used scripture out of context, ambiguously, or by adapting it to inappropriate and unscriptural presuppositions.
  8. We have added to scripture whilst claiming a closed canon and whilst misrepresenting the concept of new, special revelation.
  9. We have adjusted the biblical definition of spiritual gifts to fit man-made counterfeits, casting doubt and disillusionment onto the existence (past or present) of the gifts at all.
  10. We have used piety and tiered systems to elevate one brother over another.
  11. We have cast aspersions on the practice prescribed by our Lord Jesus of laboring in the study of God’s Word, and, in a manner most “passive-aggressive”, created a class of false converts who do not even know the God they claim to worship except by “personal relationship” devoid of biblical knowledge.
  12. We have not held to the perspicuity of scripture on so-called “secondary” issues and, in efforts toward false peace and false unity, have opened the door (or sometimes blatantly given invitation) to the denial of essential Christian doctrines.
  13. We have claimed “Christian liberty” in order to entertain the desires of the flesh in corporate worship on the Lord’s Day, turning it into a fun-house of entertainment and worldly attractions.
  14. We have failed to remain even infinitesimally more righteous than the worst of the worldly—disparaging our Christian witness.
  15. In handling our public sins, we have failed to repent and show any contrition whatsoever, and, in an effort to permit our actions, we have misused biblical concepts of grace and forgiveness.
  16. In handling our public sins, we have failed to repent and show any contrition whatsoever, making a display of our sin as an example of the victim of this present age, turning the true state of man’s depravity on its head: devaluing the sovereignty of God and the efficacy of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
  17. We have used emotional manipulation to illicit a parody of faith and repentance from our congregations, making true conversion almost totally indistinguishable from false conversion.
  18. We have failed to edify the bride of Christ with the full teaching of scriptures, thereby allowing, among many other things, the false conversions to remain utterly unaware of their lack of holiness and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
  19. We have made a mockery of God’s third person, the Holy Spirit, by the use of subjective emotionalism identical to pagan practices as the proof of His presence instead of the recognition of sin, the abhorrence of sin, and the desire for God’s Word (the true marks of the Holy Spirit).
  20. We have marred the beauty and simplicity of God’s Word through extreme contextualization, wherein our ministers have added to or subtracted from not only the content of the Word of God but also the prescribed practice of presenting and teaching the Word of God.
  21. We have failed to mark and warn of ministers whose practices cause great harm to the body and message of Christ.
  22. We have catered to worldly activism by mixing discipleship with works to the point where the latter is used to prove the former rather than the former begetting the latter.
  23. We have confused the world and the church to the point that the world now sees the church as fertile soil for monetary gain, power, and fame.
  24. We have created idols in persons and programs, and/or allowed them to gain significant status without objection or warning.
  25. We have failed to recognize that the departure from Rome was done in order to prevent a group of divines from having a tyrannical, final authority on the interpretation of scripture; instead we have viewed this departure as the seed of postmodernism, wherein each person who interprets scripture is encouraged to determine his own definition apart from an education on languages, culture, or basic hermeneutics, and allow such private interpretations to go unchallenged in the name of relative truth.
  26. We have failed to uphold the biblical requirements of elders (pastors) and allowed unqualified men to go unpunished in the church’s pulpits, passively or actively teaching that repentance, humility and church discipline are not to be taken seriously.
  27. We have not only ignored the dangers shown by reformers in the use of adiaphora, but we have idolized adiaphora to a point where it represents everything that the reformers feared it could become and we have therein changed it from adiaphora to idolatry.
  28. We have misapplied the Old Testament as an anthology of fables and allegories wherein pithy moral lessons are to be distilled, rather than reasoning through all scripture to teach how it points to Christ and the attributes of God.
  29. We have allowed the ever-changing grid of human sciences to limit the static grid of God’s Word.
  30. We have exchanged the abominable practice of indulgences as a means to gain justification with God for the teaching of pietistic legalism and servitude as a means to gain alleged intimacy with God: each exchanges material human action (works) for Godly service (justification or sanctification)—a practice explicitly denied by scripture.
  31. We have pitted a counterfeit evangelism (wherein regeneration is evidenced simply by an emotionally-charged, peer-pressured profession) against real discipleship (wherein the congregation is grown into the more solid foods of doctrine by teaching), when Christ’s command to make disciples (teaching them all He has taught us) would satisfy true evangelism and true discipleship.
  32. We have allowed modalism and its ilk to gain traction because we now have a malnourished understanding of Trinitarian theology: our teachings are so emaciated that our own parishioners oftentimes commit the sin that modalists would point out (that of tritheism), or are simply crypto-modalists themselves.
  33. We have reduced soteriology so much that the gospel is all but lost and its purveyors are merely men who sell a product that—if well-marketed—may seem a little bit more attractive than the competition.
  34. We have denied the sufficiency and efficacy of God’s Word. First, by believing that more than just the Word must be preached in order to interest convince the unbeliever. Second, by forgetting that the gospel is used to both save and to condemn—that men who hear it and reject it are just as much under the sovereign power of God as men who hear it and are transformed by it.
  35. We have exchanged the concept of a pastor being the shepherd of his flock for the concept of a pastor being a celebrity: an unattainable untouchable in an unquestionable, unaccountable position.
  36. We have forgotten the narrow path for the remnant and embraced the wide path for as many men as can be wooed by the artificial light of a worldly church.
  37. We have lost holiness and reverence towards the almighty, Triune God.
  38. We have reduced the numerous apprehensible attributes of our Triune God to one (love) and redefined it to meet the cultural ideal: that of tolerance and uncritical, unconditional non-judgment; and we have done so to the point where this new god violates the very clear and immutable attributes of the Triune God by lacking the need to satisfy holy judgment, by having no problem with unrighteousness, and by believing that all human beings are inherently good.
  39. We have allowed branding and association define our theology whilst avoiding theology proper at all costs, yet, when we are confronted about our branding and associations, we claim the fallacy of “guilt by association” or “judging a book by its cover”. Do we not see that this is precisely what we are promoting in our disdain towards comprehensive confessions of faith?
  40. We have over-emphasized the need for aesthetic appeal during our worship services while allowing the doctrinal content to be malnourished (at best) or devoid (at worst): it is now easier to get a delicious latte at a church than to get an expositional sermon.
  41. We have sent our children to church programs that teach them how to play games, remain constantly stimulated by all forms of entertainment, avoid discipline and learning, and profess no understanding of scripture, and yet scratch our heads when 30-year-olds are doing the same things when they get home from their non-advancing, non-career jobs: they play video games, watch endless television programs, avoid any positive, disciplined habits, and have no understanding of their nominalistic faith.
  42. We have capitulated that God really doesn’t mind excessive alcohol consumption, gambling, raves, partying, tattoos, smoking, coarse joking, and the like, not because we have pored over scripture and found a lackadaisical, cavalier God who is not concerned with the holiness of His people (for such a God is not the God of the bible), but because we conveniently avoid the portions of scripture that we do not want to obey.
  43. We have replaced faith in the historic event of Christ’s resurrection providing an imputation of righteousness to all future believers with a more palatable assent that He was somehow an excellent, moral example whose sacrifice showed a “better way”—a way for our own moralistic improvements: that we can somehow “be” the gospel rather than “proclaim” the gospel.
  44. We have not recognized the error of antinomianism, and instead have perpetuated it by railing against fundamentalism as “religion” and having a complete disregard for the law as “relationship”, when, in fact, a truly regenerative relationship with Christ would cause us to aspire to obedience of the same law, to a brokenness when we realize we cannot, and to rejoicing in Christ that He has prevailed in satisfying what we could not.

14 thoughts on “Indictments of the Modern, Evangelical Church”

  1. Modalism vs. Trinity

    I believe neither because neither is Biblical. I’ve noticed that I often times know more about the Trinity than your Trinitarians.

  2. And besides randomly dropping by with an astonishingly arrogant Hegalian dialectic, what would you propose? Dashing two thousand years of orthodox Christian history to the rocks, dispelling all of the Trinitarian theology from the great theologians of old and new (from Anselm to Aquinas to Luther to Calvin to Edwards), and proposing not just a contrarian theory like Modalism but (cue triumphant music) something new?

    All kidding aside, Trinitarian theology is most certainly biblical—sure, the most reduced form of it is carried from one generation of believers to the next in many cases without the thorough and complex biblical basis and makes most (even faithful) Christians look silly when they are asked to explain it, but it is most certainly not unbiblical. So I would agree that nearly any well-read person could make a fool out of a lay person in a church when said lay person is asked to define the Trinity biblically. Most would lean modalist or unitarian anyway. I’d even say that I have leaned modalist in my earlier years in church. But the Trinity is certainly not unbiblical.

    Have you read James White’s Forgotten Trinity? He does a marvelous job showing the biblical basis, the normal objections, and the truth behind the sad excuses of definitions given by most lay people. At least, he makes my version seem pretty lame—I’ll say that. :)

    He also has a simple page on it here, and a more complicated explanation here. I recommend thorough reading so that you have a better representation of the doctrine of the Trinity than most others.

    Report back with your thoughts. Preferably, more cogent and verbose ones, because what you’ve already stated is just “big talk”. ;)

  3. I do plan to read James White’s book but from what I understand he assumes a “dual nature” all the way through. Why does a person who accuses others who oppose his unBiblical ideas of assuming himself also assume?

    As for “throwing out 2 thousand years of orthodox christianity”, Jesus said:
    John 17:3 – And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

    Thus, 2 thousand years of orthodox christianity seems to be different than what Jesus taught.

    BTW, the oldest guy on your list is from 1033 C.E. Therefore, it is less than 1 thousand years of orthodoxy we are giving up for Biblical truth.

  4. Fine: Athanasius. Or how about John in his inspired writing of Revelation, which speaks of all three persons of the Godhead clearly, and ascribes deity-status to them? Jesus Himself?

    John 17:3 is not the only verse in the bible. It doesn’t account for the holistic review of the bible, which makes clear that there are three persons whose actions are independent yet have the same essence of the same deity. It would do you well to read over those articles to which I linked, as Trinitarian theology is not the claim that there are three gods, which John 17:3 quickly dispels. So on that quote, I’ll agree with you: there is one God.

    My only assumption is that you follow Arianism/Jehovah’s Witnesses or Socinianism/Unitarianism in your assumption of the deity and Christ. Is this the case?

  5. “Fine: Athanasius.”
    Yes, Athanasius was a very notable Origenist. However, it should be noted that virtually everyone in his time frame disagreed with him on the full equality of the Son. Kudos to Athanasius though for giving us the New Testament that which we have today.

    “Or how about John in his inspired writing of Revelation, which speaks of all three persons of the Godhead clearly, and ascribes deity-status to them? Jesus Himself?”
    Actually, deity status is never attributed to the holy spirit in the book of Revelation. You might be referring to the seven spirits in Revelation 1:4-6.
    Adam Clarke: “The ancient Jews, who represented the throne of God as the throne of an eastern monarch, supposed that there were seven ministering angels before this throne, as there were seven ministers attendant on the throne of a Persian monarch. We have an ample proof of this, Tobit 12:15:I am Raphael, one of the SEVEN HOLY ANGELS which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One. And in Jonathan ben Uzziel’s Targum, on ; Genesis 11:7: God said to the SEVEN ANGELS which stand before him, Come now,

    In Pirkey Eliezer, iv. and vii: “The angels which were first created minister before him without the veil.” Sometimes they represent them as seven cohorts or troops of angels, under whom are thirty inferior orders.

    That seven ANGELS are here meant, and not the Holy Spirit, is most evident from the place, the number, and the tradition. Those who imagine the Holy Ghost to be intended suppose the number seven is used to denote his manifold gifts and graces. That these seven spirits are angels, see Revelation 3:1;; 4:5; and particularly Revelation 5:6, where they are called the seven spirits of God SENT FORTH INTO ALL THE EARTH.”
    Additionally, in the book of Revelation, Jesus says “”And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,’These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:” and is seen as distinguished from God Almighty in numerous passages for instance Revelation 1:1, 1:5-6, 3:2, 3:12, 4-5, 21:22, 22:3, etc. Not merely God, the person of the Father, but God in general. Because even if Jesus said “I am definitely not God” you Trinitarians would still believe he was God because for you he would simply be saying he is definitely not God the Father.

    I read James White’s article on how if one denies the full equality, they deny the Trinity which is a false statement. I know Trinitarians who deny the full equality of the members of the Trinity and they base it off passages such as John 14:28 and 1 Corinthians 15:25-28.

    “It would do you well to read over those articles to which I linked, as Trinitarian theology is not the claim that there are three gods, which John 17:3 quickly dispels. So on that quote, I’ll agree with you: there is one God.”
    LOL, I know that the Trinity does not teach three gods but you seem to miss my point on John 17:3. My point was not that this verse says there is only one God. My point was that this verse says that the only true God is the FATHER, not the Trinity. You are the one saying Jesus got it wrong.

    I am not a Jehovah’s Witness. I am not a Socinian. I am not an Arian. Arius was also a pitiful Origenist just like his counterpart Athanasius. Kudos to him though for defending the Biblical truth of the Father supremacy over the Son but Arius took his teachings too far.

  6. God claims to be the Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8).

    Christ claims to be the first and the last (Rev. 1:17, Rev. 2:8, Rev. 22:13-16).

    The Spirit is referred to, but, as you say, not plainly proclaimed as deity in Revelation.

    Of course, the Spirit *is* proclaimed to be deity or equivalent to God and Christ in numerous other passages throughout Scripture (Matt 28:19, 2 Cor. 3:16-18, 2 Cor. 13:14, Eph 4:4-6, etc.).

    So unless you are affirming both a Christological heresy AND an aberrant view of Scripture, you must accept that what is in Revelation is equivalent in authority to the remainder of Scripture, which, in numerous places, teaches that there are three persons associated with the single, Triune God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

    Even if we suppose for a moment that these other passages mean something different, we’d still have to grapple with the concept that God has demonstrated his jealousy as the only object of worship. Yet, in many locations throughout Scripture, we are told to Worship Christ. If Christ is not God, how would this demonstrate anything besides a change of mind in an immutable God?

  7. I do not believe that THE Christ (Christ is a title so state his name: YAHUSHUA) is speaking in Revelation 22:13.

    Yahushua is the first raised from the dead to immortal life (Revelation 1:5, Colossians 1:15-19, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23) and the last because he is the most despised by men (Isaiah 52-53). Yahweh is the first and the last in that he is the only being who is eternal. YES, there can be two firsts and two lasts if there is more than one category to place first and last in.

    If I were to say “in the name of the President, and of his Vice President, and of the Law of the United States” would you assume that all three of these are co-equal or the SAME ENTITY? I find it interesting how you accuse me of committing the “Christological heresy” when you have just quoted a verse that identifies Yahushua as the holy spirit if not read carefully! YES, Yahushua is a spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45), when we are raised from the dead, our physical bodies will be immortalized and turned into spirit bodies! The spirit of Yahushua is the gospel message, the church! 2 Corinthians 13:14 says “communion of the holy spirit”. This is similar to “the communion of love”. Is love a person? Ephesians 4:4-6 says there is one spirit in the Christian community. NOT that this spirit is a person! This spirit is the spirit of the church. It also says we have one God and Father who is above ALL. Now, does this include Yahushua? Because if it does, then I am NOT embracing a “Christological heresy”, YOU ARE!

  8. Can you identify a theologian or historical figure who agrees with you on these conclusions? Because I would need to research this to have any idea of what you’re saying. Once again, you’re dashing 2000 years of historic, orthodox Christianity to the rocks in favor of your fanciful myths.

    Now, I’m not purporting an ad populem fallacy here; I’m just trying to see what basis in reality your claims have, since you haven’t proven yourself to be a thoroughly educated scholar of Ancient Hebrew, Koine Greek, and Aramaic, nor have you shown a thorough understanding of Jewish customs (not that you have proven you are NOT).

    You’ve carefully avoided placing yourself in any camp that I’ve mentioned, and you’ve avoided giving me a name for your belief system. I can only assume it is one of your own design, from your own private interpretation of Scripture.

    I’d advocate private interpretation, but the church was put in place as an assembly of believers to whom a measure of authority was given to enforce discipline, wherein a private interpretation, if significantly different and Scripturally untenable, would be able to be corrected. If you are part of an assembly (a biblical command), then perhaps you can identify that assembly?

    If you say, “Solomon’s Porch,” I will not be surprised, but supremely disappointed. But that’s my only guess apart from the others I’ve mentioned.

  9. When you ask me to provide you an historical figure who agrees with me, I do not know what you are asking?

    I will list numerous you can look up:
    Patrick Navas (author of Divine Truth or Human Tradition)
    Greg Stafford
    R.P.C. Hanson
    William Whiston
    Isaac Newton
    Arius
    Justin Martyr

    BTW, William Whiston believed he was REVIVING Orthodox Christianity. Definitely check out his notes on the Patristics.

  10. Also, are you currently attending a church which satisfies your doctrinal requirements? I’m not aware of any churches that conform to the doctrinal stances you have taken thus far.

  11. I’m not aware of any churches that do so either. At least not 100% of them. I have studied with members of a variety of different groups. Right now, I attend a non-denominational church which teaches three un-Biblical doctrines: Inherited Sin, the Trinity, and Concious Death (that is, we go immediately to Heaven or Hell when we die).

  12. Interesting. I wouldn’t label the first two doctrines unbiblical, of course, but I also don’t call Jesus Christ by his transliterated Hebrew name. I believe that, at death, we would be in what Christ calls “Paradise” when he speaks to the thief—I do not believe this is the glory of which is spoken eschatologically. But I haven’t spent a great deal of time studying that aspect of my faith, either. My focus in the last few years has been on core (essential) doctrines, whose dismissals would render alleged salvation null. Of course, what that list is is a disputed subject anyway.

    Here’s an article I found in researching the subject a bit. It’s still not as comprehensive as the book by White (nor should his beliefs about the dual-nature of Christ be used to dismiss his scholarship on this subject), but it’s helpful for historical information.

    I am not Catholic (as I would be deemed anathema because of my beliefs about justification right off the bat), so the site is not recommended, but the quotes are documented (sources are listed in the footnotes).

    http://www.staycatholic.com/were_the_early_church_fathers_trinitarian.htm

  13. Hello. I read that article. You want to be VERY careful when reading the early church fathers. I believe that everyone is going to read into them their own ideologies. However, none of their quotes even come close to explicit Trinitarianism.

    “Was the Trinity “unknown” to Justin Martyr? Justin writes that “God begat before all creatures a Beginning, who was a certain rational power proceeding from Himself… which was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures, and the Father communed with Him.” [1] This squares precisely with the Nicene Creed, which declares God the Son to be “begotten, not made.” Justin explains further that “this power is indivisible and inseparable from the Father,” [2] and that the Son was “begotten from the Father, by His power and will, but not by abscission, as if the essence of the Father were divided,” [3] which means that the Son is begotten from the very same essence which the Father himself possesses – not dividing the Godhead into parts, but rather allowing each divine person a full sharing in the Godhead – which is exactly what the doctrine of the Trinity maintains.”

    Quote: “Justin Martyr (d. 165) developed a “Logos theology” that explained Jesus as a “second God.” God the Creator cannot appear on earth, so the Word of God appeared to Moses in the burning bush. The Word of God (God’s son) became human in Jesus. For Justin, Jesus the Word is clearly divine and is to be worshipped as God but is less divine than the ultimate God. This way of thinking and the questions it raised would become a major source of controversy in the fourth-century Arian crisis.” (Weaver & Brakke, Introduction to Christianity, p. 46)

    Quote: “Then I replied, “I shall attempt to persuade you, since you have understood the Scriptures,[of the truth] of what I say, that there is, and that there is said to be, another God and Lord subject to the Maker of all things; who is also called an Angel, because He announces to men whatsoever the Maker of all things–above whom there is no other God–wishes to announce to them.” And quoting once more the previous passage, I asked Trypho, “Do you think that God appeared to Abraham under the oak in Mature, as the Scripture asserts?”" (Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho, Chpater 56)

    Note: the word “all” is intensified in the Bible at times. Even in the other Greek writings. Good book: Truth in Translation by Jason BeDuhn.

    “Was the Trinity “unknown” to Irenaeus? Irenaeus’ teaching that “the Father is Lord and the Son is Lord, and the Father is God and the Son is God, since he who is born of God is God, and in this way, according to His being and power and essence, one God is demonstrated: but according to the economy of our salvation, there is both Father and Son,” [4] couldn’t be more Trinitarian. Moreover, Irenaeus distinguishes the Son and the Holy Spirit from created beings when he says, “The Word, namely the Son, was always with the Father; and that Wisdom also, which is the Spirit, was present with Him, anterior to all creation.” [5] So, according to Irenaeus, the Son and the Spirit are co-eternal with the Father, just like the doctrine of the Trinity says.”

    Note the phrase “anterior to creation”. Thus, both the Son and the Spirit are with God before the creation. But there are numerous creation accounts in the Bible so the question that which I next raise is what creation Irenaeus is talking about before using this as proof that Irenaeus believed that the three were from eternity. Likewise, his statement of that which is being born of God being God has no confliction with a Unitarian position either since Irenaeus also maintains to the doctrine of theosis.

    “St Irenaeus explained this doctrine in Against Heresies, Book 5, in the Preface, “the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who did, through his transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself.”" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theosis#As_a_patristic_and_historical_teaching)

    “Was the Trinity “unknown” to Clement of Alexandria? Clement calls Jesus “the Divine Word, He that is truly most manifest Deity, He that is made equal to the Lord of the universe” [6] as well as “God in the form of man, stainless, the minister of His Father’s will, the Word who is God, who is in the Father, who is at the Father’s right hand, and with the form of God is God.” [7] And Clement is decidedly adamant that “the Son of God, being, by equality of substance, one with the Father, is eternal and uncreated.” [8] Jesus, according to Clement, wasn’t created, but “existed always, without beginning.” Rather than holding Jesus to be an inferior, created being, Clement clearly teaches that Jesus is “co-eternal” and “co-existent with the Father.” Isn’t this exactly what the doctrine of the Trinity teaches?”

    On the contrary to what this site has asserted, “His belief that Christ, as Logos, was in some sense created, contrary to John 1 but following Philo.[88]” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clement_(Bible)) Also, he did not write anything entitled “Against Praxaeus” which is what your website has footnoted for his statement that Jesus was “uncreated”. Likewise, they do not footnote the last quote either demonstrating that their authority on these quotes should be questioned.

    “Was the Trinity “unknown” to Tertullian? On the contrary, Tertullian loudly proclaims, “Bear always in mind that this is the rule of faith which I profess; by it I testify that the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit are inseparable from each other… [9] and that the Father is one, and the Son one, and the Spirit one, and that They are distinct from Each Other.” He continues, “All are of One, by unity of substance; while the mystery of the dispensation distributes the Unity into a Trinity, placing in their order the three Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: three, yet of one substance, and of one condition, and of one power, inasmuch as He is one God.” [10] He finishes, “All the Scriptures attest the clear existence of, and distinction in, the Persons of the Trinity, and indeed furnish us with our Rule of faith,” [11] and, “I must everywhere hold one only substance in three coherent and inseparable Persons.” [12] To reproduce here all that Tertullian says in support of the Trinity would probably take up another page or two. Suffice it to say that in his declaration, “The Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God,” we have a nice, simply-rendered summary of the Trinity doctrine.”

    Actually, Tertullian did not state what they have him saying last.

    I would agree with him all are inseperable in their unity. I would agree with him that they are all one substance. I would disagree with him that the holy spirit is a literal person however it will be seen that Arius derived his idea of the triad from Tertullian.

    “God is not so limited as man is, nor did God bring forth a son in the same way that man does. Of course, Jesus, in his prehuman and posthuman existence, is of the same substance as God, that is “spirit”.” (http://godandson.reslight.net/?p=200)

    I also agree with the following statements from Tertullian:

    “For He could not have been the Father previous to the Son, nor a Judge previous to sin. There was, however, a time when neither sin existed with Him, nor the Son; the former of which was to constitute the Lord a Judge, and the latter a Father.” (Tertullian, Against Homogenes, Chapter 3)

    “”The Lord,” says the Scripture, “possessed me, the beginning of His ways for the creation of His works. Before the worlds He rounded me; before He made the earth, before the mountains were settled in their places; moreover, before the hills He generated me, and prior to the depths was I begotten.” Let Hermogenes then confess that the very Wisdom of God is declared to be born and created, for the especial reason that we should not suppose that there is any other being than God alone who is unbegotten and uncreated. … But if this same Wisdom is the Word of God, in the capacity of Wisdom, and (as being He) without whom nothing was made, just as also (nothing) was set in order without Wisdom, how can it be that anything, except the Father, should be older, and on this account indeed nobler, than the Son of God, the only-begotten and first-begotten Word? Not to say that what is unbegotten is stronger than that which is born, and what is not made more powerful than that which is made. Because that which did not require a Maker to give it existence, will be much more elevated in rank than that which had an author to bring it into being.” (Tertullian, Against Homogenes, Chpater 18).

    “Was the Trinity “unknown” to Hippolytus? Hippolytus says, “The Logos alone of this God is from God himself; wherefore also the Logos is God, being the substance of God. Now the world was made from nothing; wherefore it is not God.” [13] So Hippolytus, too, sets the Logos of God, a.k.a. Jesus, apart from all creation and all created beings. He further declares of Jesus that “by nature He is God,” [14] and that Jesus, “who was co-existent with His Father before all time, and before the foundation of the world, always had the glory proper to Godhead.” [15] According to Hippolytus, Jesus “was in essential being with His Father” [16] and “is co-eternal with His Father,” just as the doctrine of the Trinity says. And, with regard to the Trinity as a whole, Hippolytus says, “We cannot otherwise think of one God, but by believing in truth in Father and Son and Holy Spirit,” [17]and, “Whosoever omits any one of these, fails in glorifying God perfectly. For it is through this Trinity that the Father is glorified. For the Father willed, the Son did, the Spirit manifested. The whole Scriptures, then, proclaim this truth.” [18] Clearly, Hippolytus is a Trinitarian.”

    Again, the author does not note citations for his assertion “is co-eternal with His Father”. Also, the source fails to note that God is outside of time so the Logos being before time really has no bearing on whether it was created or not. We should also note that Hippolytus does admit that the Father willed indicating Hippolytus, like all of these others, affirmed Subordination between the three. Again though, your Catholic source would do best to critically analyze how much God they believed Jesus was and to admit that the JWs also acknowledge Jesus’s full divinity (in a lesser sense than the Father of course).

    “Was the Trinity “unknown” to Origen? Origen teaches, “God is the Father of His only-begotten Son, who was born indeed of Him, and derives from Him what He is, but without any beginning, not only such as may be measured by any divisions of time, but even that which the mind alone can contemplate within itself, or behold, so to speak, with the naked powers of the understanding. And therefore we must believe that Wisdom was generated before any beginning that can be either comprehended or expressed.” [19] Likewise, Origen says, “We have been able to find no statement in Holy Scripture in which the Holy Spirit could be said to be made or created.” [20] He therefore concludes that “all things which exist were made by God, and that there was nothing which was not made, save the nature of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” [21] and that “the Father generates an uncreated Son, and brings forth a Holy Spirit, not as if He had no previous existence, but because the Father is the origin and source of the Son or Holy Spirit, and no anteriority or posteriority can be understood as existing in them.” [22] Accordingly, “the Holy Spirit is reckoned in the Unity of the Trinity along with the unchangeable Father and His Son.” [23] In all of Origen’s teachings we have, once again, the doctrine of the Trinity proclaimed loud and clear.”

    Origen is possibly where you have the first explicit assertion that Jesus was uncreated. Like I already stated, Arius drew Subordinationist concepts from Origen. Athanasius drew concepts of the uncreated Son from Origen. Without Origen, we have no Council of Nicaea.

    We’ll get to the other two subjects later.

  14. I think I’m done here. You are telling me to be very careful reading the church fathers, but you subscribe to no creed, you don’t fit into agreement with anyone in the orthodox lines of Christianity that is accepted by the Protestant Reformers or even the Catholics. You source from individuals who were rejected by everyone (Protestants and Catholics) as heretics, and you clearly preach a different gospel about a different Christ than the one agreed upon in the bible.

    I don’t normally shut down conversation, but I feel this is not a discussion at all. Every article or quote I’ve sent to you from scholars or from reputable sites or theologians of old has been disputed by your own personal conclusions or personal interpretations of their writing. Yet the majority of scholars of much higher stature in education and theology than either of us would agree that these same theologians were correct.

    If this were secondary issues, I’d gladly continue, but I cannot just sit here and allow you to make a mockery of the orthodox Christian faith and Scripture from a self-proclaimed pulpit of nothingness.

    I apologize now if I led you to believe that this would be an open forum for random deists (or whatever you are) to spew their contrarian views.

    Good day to you sir.

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