Previous posts addressed common questions and perceived problems with Oneness beliefs. This study will detail some of the reasons why I can not accept the doctrine of the Trinity. This is not meant to be critical of those that adhere to this doctrine, but rather to explain my position and hopefully expose some wonderful Trinitarian friends to a different perspective. These are my personal conclusions after much study, thought, and prayer.
1. It is never explicitly described in scripture.
There isn’t a text that explains God as three persons. The doctrine is based largely on inferences. This seems odd since the primary purpose of scripture is to teach us about God. The scripture is, however, emphatic that God is one. Jesus described a belief in the one God and a love for Him as the most important commandment.
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
The New Testament writers went in great detail to explain the true meaning of the Old Testament. The significance of the Sabbath is expounded on. The purpose of holy days is revealed. The book of Hebrews gives a detailed explanation of the symbolism portrayed by the priest, lamb, and tabernacle. Paul even took time to explain the proper application of the commandment forbidding muzzling an ox. Yet, no where does anyone explain why God, if He really consisted of three distinct persons, so consistently and adamantly insisted that He was God alone, the only Savior, with no one like Him or beside Him, and the Holy One . This would be the greatest revelation and the most controversial belief of the new testament church, but no one saw the need to discuss, define, or explain this doctrine. It is simply ignored by the first generation church and slowly over the course of decades and even centuries is pieced together by later generations.
2. The idea of a Trinity is completely foreign to the Old Testament.
A baby was born of the Holy Spirit thus He was the Son of God. This is the first definite mention of God being or having an actual son. We are supposed to believe that this is just coincidence. The Son was there all along as another person of God. God just kept it secret for his 4,000 years of relationship with men like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, etc.
3. The terminology lacks rationale meaning.
Words have to mean something. How can God exists as three different people, but then He can be described as one? What is the difference in God as three persons and three gods that are in agreement with one another? God is a Spirit thus the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit would all be spirit beings. Why then does the Bible designate the Holy Spirit as a spirit if all three are spirits? Does that mean that God, who is Spirit, has a Spirit? What about the terms Father and Son? How can the Son be eternal? What then would make him a Son? He didn’t have a beginning so he couldn’t have actually been fathered. Why would the Father be in the Son as Jesus claimed? What could this possibly mean if they are eternally distinct?
4. Terms aren't consistently applied.
Consider the following examples if we consistently applied the Trinitarian understanding of God as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
2 Corinthians 5:19
19To wit, that God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself...
1 Timothy 3:16
16And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) was manifest in the flesh
Were the Father and Holy Ghost in Christ? Were the Father and even the Spirit manifested in the flesh? Since most Trinitarians would hesitate to affirm these statements, the definition of the term “God” is altered. “God” equals three persons, unless by context it needs to only equal “the Father” to support a previously held tenant of the Trinitarian doctrine. This same reasoning has to be used throughout the New Testament to force the Trinity to fit into the text.
5. If the Trinity consists of three distinct persons, the gospel story is wildly inconsistent.
A. Which of the persons created the world?
Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?
Hebrews 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
B. Who was Jesus’ father?
The Holy Ghost:
Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
C.Who raised Jesus from the dead?
The Holy Ghost:
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead…
Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
6. The Trinity, when under close examination, creates many problems and contradictions while doing little to answer the difficult questions regarding the Incarnation.
If Jesus is God the Son, why did He pray? If Jesus is God the Son, why did He say that the co-equal Father was greater than Him? If Jesus is God the Son, how could He die? If Jesus is God the Son, why did He have limited knowledge? Surprisingly, the Trinitarian answer is nearly identical to the Oneness answer. Jesus was God, but He humbled Himself and became a man. His humanity explains these apparent contradictions.
The difficulty is in understanding how God could take on the nature of a man while remaining fully God. The doctrine of the Trinity does not clarify the mystery of God manifested in the flesh. It just compounds the mystery by stating that God eternally exists as three persons, but that He is somehow incomprehensibly just one. While these statements are not overtly biblical, they are believed to be implied in the texts. These interpretations of supposed implications are used to clarify and understand very explicit statements that are contrary to the Trinity. Isn't this backwards? Shouldn't the concrete statements be used to understand more vague statements and draw accurate conclusions?
7. The Trinity can’t be described solely using biblical terms.
I understand that a word doesn't necessarily have to be in the Bible for it to describe a true event. For example, Trinitarians sometimes point out that while the English word "rapture" is not in the Bible, the rapture is still true. This is used as an analogy for the Trinity. They argue that the word is non-biblical, but the concept is biblical. These scenarios are not analogous though because the circumstances are so different between the two. The English word "rapture" is not in the Bible, but the concept can be easily described by simply quoting scripture. It can be depicted using biblical terminology. Contrast this to the accepted dogma of the Trinity.
Trinity: There is one God eternally existing in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost who are co-equal, co-existent, and co-eternal.
Biblical word or phrase
God the Father
Non-biblical word or phrase
God the Son
God the Holy Ghost
Can the doctrine of the Trinity be described strictly using biblical terminology? Words affect thoughts, and thoughts affect doctrines. Doctrines affect eternities. I will just stick with the clear and obviously biblical explanation for the nature of God.
This is my conclusion using the inspired Words of scripture as my guide: There is One Eternal God (1 Timothy 1:17), our Heavenly Father (Malachi 2:10). Jesus said that the Father was in Him (John 10:38). All the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him bodily (Colossians 2:9). Since God fully dwells in Christ, He is the perfect mediator, both man and God (1 Timothy 2:5). The Son is still the Mighty God and Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus repeated this truth when He explained that He is one with the Father (John 10:30). When you saw him, you saw the Father (John 14:9). He is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4), manifesting God in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). We are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10).
*Referenced Scriptures attached at the bottom of the post.
For more information concerning my understanding of God, please read the following links.
There are many other posts available in the drop down menu under the heading "God" that address specific questions or scriptures.
1 Timothy 1:17
17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?
38 … that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
1 Timothy 2:5
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
30 I and my Father are one.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
2 Corinthians 4:4
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
1 Timothy 3:16
16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: