There Is No Such Thing as the Trinity

It's a Human Idea That Tries to Control God

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The Creed of St. Athanasius

I think that it would benefit Mr. Bryant to consider the first three sentences of the ancient Creed known as the Quicunque Vult, also known as the Creed of St. Athanasius. "Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that one holds the Universal Faith. The Faith which everyone must keep whole and undefiled, or else without doubt one shall perish eternally. And the Universal Faith is this: That we worship One God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance." This makes the matter very clear; namely, one must confess that the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is true in order for a person to be saved.

Mick 148 days ago

Agreed!

Thank you, Richard, for having the guts to stand up and pronounce to the laity what every UMC minister learned early in seminary: the Trinity is a concept developed by man.

I read a number of my father's UMC seminary books on biblical analysis. As a result, I have always wondered why UMC ministers have the nerve to hold tight to our creeds and the concept of the Trinity.

Ben 148 days ago

And That's The Problem with UMC Seminaries and Clergy

Thank you Ben for confirming my thoughts about what the problems are with the UMC. The seminaries are not teaching anything remotely resembling orthodox Christianity anymore and the clergy produced are only nominally Christian if at all. You can't sustain a denomination if the clergy are far more liberal theologically than the laity.

Dan 146 days ago

The Triune God

Evangelicals who argue that scripture is the final authority for faith and practice should measure all doctrine against that standard. Probing doctrine in light of scripture is not a sin and does not make one a heretic as some have opined. In truth, the current canonical "orthodoxy" regarding the nature of God was ironed out in a series of church controversies in which Bible-believing Christ followers disagreed. While we must affirm the basic outline of the Trinitarian language because it attempts to capture what the scriptures say and reflects what the early church taught, we have some wiggle room when it comes to how we describe the Godhead. Truthfully, if you say you understand the doctrine of the Trinity, you don't understand it. When we acknowledge the great mystery that is hidden in the language that we use, we should be humble about our dogmatic pronouncements about it. That is why I talk about the Triune God instead of the Trinity when speaking to Muslims and Jews.

william payne 149 days ago

Yes we have

Holy Spong, Batman! Yes, we have gotten word back from God about it, namely the universality of Church agreement across many denominations from Catholic, Orthodox, to any standard Protestant denomination. The Church has been guided by the Holy Spirit in the creation of the Creeds. Your denial of that is eminently Sponglike.

Johnny Notspong 149 days ago

UM Ordination

Mr. Bryant, Why are you a UM clergy? Did you include your belief that the doctrine of the Trinity is invalid in your papers for the BOOM?

Ron Doub 149 days ago

Christian Doctrine

Those who deny the Trinity might contact the Jehovah's Witnesses. Is that not the main thing that differentiates them from Christians?

Skipper 149 days ago

Christian Doctrine

I find myself agreeing with Richard in his reminder to us that The Holy Trinity is a concept created by man rather than taught by God's Word. One of the main differences between JW's and Christians is that they don't believe Jesus IS God. I think the question that is best to ponder is "Should we think of God more as a Unity than as a Trinity?" I believe that YHWH is "Echad" or "One" who manifested himself to us humans in His Son and who manifests Himself to us by the gifts and workings of His Holy Spirit. Christianity has fragmented God into three entities and modern religions have tended to gather in 3 separate corners accordingly: those who only speak of "God" to the neglect of the Holy Spirit or Cross of Christ; those who are immersed in the awesome mystery and power of the Holy Spirit to the neglect of YHWH of the Covenants or The Word made Flesh; and those who have a daily relationship with the Son but have no deep understanding of the Holiness of The Father or the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When Moses pleaded with YHWH to see His glory, God did not say, "Sorry, you will have to wait until I send my Son and after that the sending of the Holy Spirit." Moses wasn't cheated -- the One true God revealed His glory to the fullest extend that Moses could experience and still live! Jesus and the Holy Spirit were part of that somehow, yet not delineated in scripture.

Daniel Williams 48 days ago

Heresy

If the only issue in Rev. Bryant's article was nomenclature, I'd let it go. But he insists that the doctrine of the Trinity–accepted by the entire church as a properly reasoned and exegetically sound understanding of the biblical teaching on the two natures of Christ and the relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–is a "guess," no more valid than the hypothetical conjectures of imaginative cosmologists about the nature of the universe. (Given that he also refers to "making up" doctrine and "fake news" regarding God, perhaps not even that valid.) As such, he effectively rejects tradition and reason, and denigrates Scripture. Furthermore, his suggestion that the language to speak of God that the church has agreed upon for centuries is used to "control God" indicates both a very low view of God, as well as His church's character, and comes across as the rant of a person who prefers being a "free-thinker" as opposed to a Christian. I'm not saying Rev. Bryant isn't a Christian, but it sounds like he doesn't want to talk like one, and in the process sends a message regarding the gospel as a kind of linguistic putty nose that is not communicable by words.

Palamas 149 days ago

Just because you cannot explain the Trinity doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

This is a basic concept of Orthodox Christianity going back many centuries.

"Article I - God

We believe in the one true, holy and living God, Eternal Spirit, who is Creator, Sovereign and Preserver of all things visible and invisible. He is infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness and love, and rules with gracious regard for the well-being and salvation of men, to the glory of his name. We believe the one God reveals himself as the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, distinct but inseparable, eternally one in essence and power."

This must come as quite a shock to all the Trinity United Methodist Churches out there.

John W Marsh 149 days ago

And...

from Wesley's Articles of Religion (part of the church's doctrine, as is the Confession quoted above, that all ordinands vow to accept, uphold, and defend)

Article I - Of Faith in the Holy Trinity
There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and good; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

John 149 days ago

Jesus' Own words

From the Great Commission (Matthew 28)
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

Randy Kiel 149 days ago

Amendment

Randy, the version of the verse you quote from Matthew 28 is not substantiated by our oldest biblical manuscripts. Scholars of all branches claim this form of the verse is a scribal emendation.

None of our oldest biblical sources mention the Trinity.

Ben 148 days ago

A Liberal who believes in the Trinity

I agree that the Trinity is human language. Of course all religious language is human including that of love, of God, of anything holy we would talk about. It doesn't mean that such language does not point to the real. And I'm convinced the Trinity does as well.
https://approachingjustice.net/2014/08/21/one-progressive-christian-take-on-the-trinity/

Dwight Welch 149 days ago

Mystery

The accusation of heresy is a powerful tool to enforce conformity. False brethren and false teaching were real problems in the NT community. The scriptures warn us about them. Still, when we talk about the "doctrine" of the Trinity, we should speak with grace and acknowledge that it is our attempt to capture a nuance that the scriptures do not make clear. Can one believe in the Father, Son, HS, the dual nature of Christ, and monotheism without talking about the Trinity? That is exactly what the Bible writers did. The Trinity is a statement of faith. I say yes to it but equally affirm that the reality of it is surrounded by a God-made mystery that cannot be fathomed by our language or formulas. Enjoy the mystery and live in the tension of seeing in a mirror darkly.

william 149 days ago

Sad and Confused

I wish for a universe where such blogs were not conceivable by someone who has vowed to uphold the Articles of Religion, the Confession of Faith, and the tenor of the Sermons and Notes.

The obvious difference between string theory and the Trinity is that the former is theorized and tested, thus in process of being "discovered" (our work) and the latter was revealed (God's work). If I tell you something about myself, you are not wondering if you are correct about what I disclosed, only if I am trustworthy in my vulnerability. God revealed himself as Trinity in the incarnation and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Both are divine, and in relationship with the Father, and NOT the Father. Ergo, Divinity is not a perfect independent monad, and the tradition of baptizing in the name of all three (going back to the Matthean community at least) makes sense.

It seems the UMC has not only given up on tradition, and scripture, but reason as well. All experience, the perfect lost consumers.

Scott Kisker 149 days ago

CHARGES

1. A bishop, clergy member of an annual conference (¶ 370), local pastor (see Judicial Council Decision 982), clergy on honorable or administrative location, or diaconal minister may be tried when charged (subject to the statute of limitations in (¶ 2702.4)10 with one or more of the following offenses: (e) dissemination of doctrines contrary to the established standards of doctrine of The United Methodist Church;

Matt 149 days ago

Unity

And they wonder why traditional orthodox believers have a problem with them. You are free to go where they do not believe in the Trinity but we will stand on our beliefs.

Carl 150 days ago

So You Know More Than the Council of Nicea?

Your writing perfectly summarizes what is wrong with the UMC, its seminaries, and the clergy it produces. Please feel free to deny the Holy Trinity as you desire. Heck, you might as well question the virgin birth of Jesus and his bodily resurrection. Just please don't do it from a Christian church pulpit. Why not try the UU Association. Unless you had a special UMC ordination service, you said you believed in the Triune God. Have you changed your mind since then, or did you just say it at your ordination without believing it. If you cannot believe, teach, and confess the three ancient creeds, how can you even call yourself a Christian? I take no pleasure in saying this, but you are not alone among UMC clergy in your beliefs, or lack thereof. Why not display integrity and boldly state your beliefs that the basic tenets of the Christian faith are incorrect and false, and then surrender your clergy credentials.

Dan 151 days ago

God in three persons

However did you get ordained a Methodist Minister challenging the truth of the Holy Trinity? You may be a very nice, kind caring human, but I can't consider anyone to be a Weslyan Christian who questions the existence of and presence in our lives of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit: the Holy Trinity.

John 151 days ago

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