By Landon Davis
Many people are shocked when they first begin to study the Godhead and to examine things that they have always assumed to be true. They see that the fullness of God dwelling in Christ is plainly explained in the Bible. It makes sense to them. Some will even admit that they feel the Holy Ghost confirming it.
After being convinced of the Oneness of God, they must decide if they will act on it. For some, they have to lay down their pride, reject traditional beliefs, and admit to themselves what they now know to be true. If they are religious, they will also feel pressure from their friends and family. Most people are scared to make spiritual decisions for themselves. How can their new understanding be correct if the people they look up to don’t see it the same way?
Some will lose courage. They will go from seeking truth to convincing themselves that the truth they found probably doesn’t really matter anyway. They may even wish that they had never heard. Ignorance is bliss, after all. Truth is troubling to those that aren’t ready to receive it.
Believing is not just an issue of the head. It is primarily an issue of the heart. Everyone comes to the crossroads and must decide if they have the faith necessary to follow the Lord on a narrow path.
This chapter is dedicated to those people hanging in the balance right now trying to convince themselves that remaining in the erroneous traditions of their faith is a viable option. Please consider the following seven reasons why you should not accept the Trinitarian understanding of God.
- The Trinity 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 the Word is to teach us about God. The Bible 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.
Mark 12:29 (KJV)
“Jesus answered him, The first of all commandments is, Hear, 0 Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord…”
The New Testament writers went into great detail to explain the true meaning of the Old Testament. The significance and symbolism of the Sabbath, the holy days, the priests, the lambs, and the tabernacle are all explained. Paul even took time to teach the proper application of the commandment forbidding muzzling an ox. Yet, nowhere 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, the Holy One. If true, the Trinity would have been the greatest revelation and the most controversial belief of Christianity, but in the early church no one ever discussed, defined, or explained this doctrine. Slowly over the course of decades and even centuries, it was pieced together by later generations.
The Encyclopedia Britannica: “The trias and trinity formula was not uniformly used from the beginning, and up to the third century.”
- 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 was the first mention of God actually being or having a begotten Son. We are expected to believe that this is just coincidence, that the Son was there all along as another person of God, and that God just kept it secret for His 4,000 years of relationship with men like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, etc.
The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics: “…the Old Testament could hardly be expected to furnish the doctrine of the ‘trinity’ if belief in the trinity is grounded upon the belief of the incarnation of God in Christ, and upon the experience of the spiritual redemption. In the New Testament, we do not find the doctrine of the trinity, in anything like its developed form.”
- The terminology lacks rational meaning.
Words have to mean something. How can God exist as three different spirit persons and then be described as one Spirit? What is the difference in one God as three persons and three gods that are in agreement with one another? God is a Spirit and 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 persons are spirits? What about the terms Father and Son? How can the Son be eternal? What would make him a Son if He had no beginning? Why would the Father be in the Son as Jesus claimed? Wouldn’t this make the Father and Son united in one instead of eternally distinct?
The Ten Epochs of Church History: “To the simplest and most primitive faith, Jesus Christ was simply God, nothing less than God.”
- The terminology can’t be used consistently.
Consider the following examples if we consistently applied the Trinitarian understanding of “God” to mean Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
2 Corinthians 5:19
“God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) was in Christ…”
1 Timothy 3:16
“God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) was manifest in the flesh…”
Were the Father and Holy Ghost in Christ? Were the Father and the Holy Ghost manifested in the flesh? Since most Trinitarians would hesitate to affirm these statements, the definition of the term “God” is altered. “God” describes all three persons, unless “God” must only mean “the Father” to support a previously held tenant of the Trinitarian doctrine. This same flawed reasoning has to be used throughout the New Testament to force the Trinity to fit into the text.
The Hastings Dictionary of the Bible: “The Christian doctrine of God, as existing in three persons, and one substance, is not demonstrable by logic, or by scriptural proofs.”
- If the Trinity consists of three distinct persons, the Bible is full of contradictions.
- Who created the world?
One Father created us (Malachi 2:10). Christ created all things in Heaven and earth (Colossians 1:16). The earth was without form and then the Spirit of God moved (Genesis 1:2).
- Who was the Father of Jesus?
Jesus is the only begotten of the Father (John 1:14). The Son is the everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). Mary was found with child of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:18).
- Who raised Jesus from the dead?
God the Father raised him from the dead (Galatians 1:1). Jesus claimed that He would raise Himself up after three days (John 2:19). Christ was raised from the dead through the Spirit (Romans 8:11).
- Who gives gifts to the church?
Every good gift comes from the Father (James 1:17). Jesus gave gifts to men (Ephesians 4:8). The Spirit distributes spiritual gifts to the church (1 Corinthians 12:11).
The Dictionary of Theology: “The New Testament does not in any way speculate on the trinity (the use of the term is introduced later), but reveals the Father through the Son, in the Holy Spirit.”
- The Trinity under close examination creates many problems while doing little to answer the difficult questions regarding the Incarnation.
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, yet He is somehow incomprehensibly just one. While these statements are not biblical, they are believed to be implied. These implications are used to understand direct statements in the Bible that are contrary to the Trinity. This is backwards. Concrete statements should be used to determine the validity of perceived implications.
The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible: “The word ‘trinity’ was first coined by Tertullian, and is not a Biblical term.”
- The Trinity can’t be described using biblical terms.
A word doesn’t have to be in the Bible for it to describe a biblical truth. For example, the English word “rapture” is not in the Bible, but the concept can be easily described by simply quoting from the Scriptures. It can be depicted using nothing but the Book. 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: One God, Eternal, God the Father
Non-biblical word or phrase: Three persons, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, Co-equal, Co-existent, Co-eternal
Can anyone describe the Trinity without these nonbiblical words? If you can’t describe it simply by reading from the Bible, there is a good chance the doctrine isn’t really in the Bible.
Words affect thoughts, and thoughts affect doctrines. Doctrines affect eternities. We should stick with the clear biblical explanation for the nature of God.
The Catholic Encyclopedia: In scripture, there is yet, no single term by which the three divine persons are denoted together.”
Main Idea: Consider the evidence of the Scriptures, the logical inconsistencies of the Trinity, and the witness of history. Accept the biblical revelation of the Oneness of God.
The above article, “Choosing the Narrow Way” was written by Landon Davis. The article was excerpted from chapter twenty-three in Davis’s book A Misplaced Mystery.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.