Thu | Mar 23, 2023

Does the Trinity distort God?

Published:Sunday | September 18, 2022 | 12:07 AM

Several religious creeds, including rastafarianism, share a very firm commitment to the inextricable nature of the Trinity. They claim that the three in one and one in three equals the same.

It is unclear, however, on what basis rastafari rests such thinking. If Selassie is the head cook and bottle washer in the godhead, what are the other two sides that complete the triangle?

Many churches hold that the Trinity involves God, the Son and the Holy Spirit – basically a triune God. Thus, when Jesus walked the earth as a man, He was merely God in flesh, and at one with the Holy Spirit, according to the reasoning. But, that point of view seems a little contradictory on a few grounds. For instance, after his baptism, a voice was heard from the heavens saying, in relation to Jesus, “This is my son, the beloved, whom I have approved.” (Matthew 3:17) Doesn’t a son and father relationship counteract the concept of existential equality? Isn’t individual separateness a requirement for being a son or a father? But OK, if that isn’t enough a challenge against trinitarianism, Jesus in another place also referred to the father by a saying, “For the father is greater than I am.” (John 14:28) If the equality that the Trinity promotes is comparable to the thee sides of a file, how does one separate the individual function while maintaining their singularity – unless, of course, it is a unity of purpose and not really of form?

Again, “The Father and I are one, and, those who have seen me have seen the Father also” isn’t necessarily a denial of individual autonomy anymore than the statement that ‘The man and a woman shall become one flesh, in marriage’, means that both have surrendered their physical singularity.

But, perhaps the greatest difficulty for the Trinity is Philippians 2:9, which says after his resurrection and ascension, Jesus was exalted by God to a higher position than he held before. If Jesus was always equal to God prior to coming to Earth, now that he has ascended back to Heaven to an even higher position than He held before, wouldn’t that place him even higher than God himself? The second problem is, how is it even possible for God to raise the Son to a higher position than himself and still remain God Almighty?

Since many accept a Trinitarian view of God all over the world, isn’t it a little reasonable to clarify the God we serve?

Homer Sylvester