This cannot be answered without a rational discussion of the Holy Trinity. This theological topic, more than any other, confuses the heck out of serious and religious thinking people.
Orthodox Christianity describes the Holy Trinity as three divine persons. Although they attempt to recover and restore the notion of one God (Christianity is supposed to be monotheistic) by saying that the three divine Persons of Trinitarian doctrine consist of one unified substance, still, one is left with the notion that these three Gods could sit in three different chairs.
When I have pointed to the illogicality of such an ambiguous notion of God, its defenders (including those with Ph.Ds) say that it is a “Great Mystery” and warn me that my mind should not even be going into such directions.
My answer to that is “zc@#$%*&>?+<#x<!”
Now that I have gotten that off my chest I can put my emotions aside and return to a more pragmatic discussion of this matter. When I say my prayers at night, I want to know exactly to whom I am addressing (and not have to guess whether I am focusing on the correct chair or the proper Deity).
I know that Jesus said that the only way to the Father was through Him (the Son) but then Jesus does an about face by teaching the Lord’s Prayer which completely bypasses the Son and allows us to pray directly to the Father.
So, with the Lord’s Prayer in hand, who needs Jesus?
But Orthodox Christianity, which embraces the sacred Trinity as three Persons, insists we are first to put our faith in Jesus. In this way the righteousness of the Son can be imputed to us humans by the Father, then the Holy Spirit shows up to set into motion the operation of justification, which magically wipes all our sins away, renews our spirit, and completes our salvation.
In other words, each Divine Person cannot claim to be fully God, as each does something that the other two don’t. If it takes three Persons to give us an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God, well, to be frank, that is not my idea of monotheism.
I prefer Emanuel Swedenborg’s version of the Divine Trinity as ONE GOD manifesting three distinct operations and functions. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit represent not three persons but the three operations of Divine Love, Divine Truth, and Divine Activity.
Truth makes love visible. That is why the Lord came into the world – to make the Love of the Father visible to us by taking on a human form. Jesus is Jehovah!
One might wonder how God could take on an imperfect and gross human body. According to Swedenborg, that was God’s precise strategy for salvation. The purpose of coming into the world was to make His human form perfectly divine by doing the will of the Father (the Father was His Divine Soul) and combating the worldly desires of the flesh and worldly temptations.
Why did God have to implore such a strategy instead of fighting evil straight on?
Without taking on a human body an Infinite God cannot be realistically attacked by any evil. A human body provided the medium by which the Lord was vulnerable to attack by both people on earth and by the entire powers of hell. The appearance of the Holy Spirit (as a dove) when Jesus was baptized was a sign from heaven that the operation of harmonizing his human side by means of the higher influence of His Divine Nature was about to begin.
This process of overcoming the flesh and its proclivities (especially love of self and the world) involved profound humiliation before the Father (which represented His Divine Spirit and its ultimate dictates).
The Lord’s biggest challenge on the cross was not enduring physical pain or physical death but His not giving in to the human part of His nature – which tempted Him to get off the cross as a show of absolute strength to men and women and compel belief. By resisting this final temptation and achieving profound humility He united His human nature with the Divine Nature and made them one (the Alpha and Omega). What died on the cross were all His human imperfections.
This complete victory over the flesh gave the Lord full power over hell, which was increasing its deadly influence in the world at the time of His Advent. We were not saved by this event but the door to salvation was kept open. When we approach the Lord to change our lives His Divine Heavenly Spirit (not a dove) starts a similar process of renewal and regeneration within us. The Lord will help us combat our negative nature and find true humility.
If God chose to sit in three chairs we would see the same person (the Lord) on all three.
How does that sit with you? Did I pull a chair right out from under your faith-system?
Posted on August 15, 2008by thegodguy
Interesting stuff here!
The whole trinity thing is hilarious. Especially after considering some of the stuff Jesus says in the NT about *not* being good like the father. He draws clear distinctions between himself and his abba.
Later, a bunch of bureaucrats try to make sense of the experience of mystics and create these lists of ridiculous assertions. Now, people mouth these whack creeds like they mean something to their ultimate ‘salvation’.
Annnd, the funniest thing to me is how there has been this strange attempt to remove the feminine flavor of the ‘holy spirit’, but the maleness of the other aspects has been amplified.
A more sane holy spirit is Mother Wisdom: Sophia in her triple form as Pistis (Faith) Sophia (Wisdom) and Zoe / Eve / Snake / Instructor (Life). Combine that with the organizing tendency emanating from the Father and you have the Child.
Interesting thing: Thich Nhat Hanh points at the Holy Spirit and asks us to recognize it as the ‘Energy of Mindfulness’ or ‘the Miracle of Mindfulness’. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of God as it is here, present with us. When we bring attention to the present moment, we are touching the holy spirit within and outside of us. And, then I’m reminded of Jesus’ constant insistence that the Kingdom is already here spread out upon the earth! Our salvation lies in our ability to be here, now. It is to drop greed and distress with relation to material existence. We are Children, not slaves! Jesus’ true message would destroy capitalism. So, they keep him up there, bleeding, on his cross.
It is a fun story tho. I guess I can see why people still embrace it.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts,
When jesus said the kingdom of heaven is with in you, He was making a scientific statememt, God bless
what is a scientific statement?
he said it is within and without
heaven is not a place you go to its something you become its a mental state of mind so is hell
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Agreed. All is mind. This ‘mundane’ realm is ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’. Buuut, ‘magical’ things do happen. Mountains can be moved! One who experiences ‘making two into one’, experiences something totally simple and profound 🙂
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Yes, love is the ultimate substance, God bless
If your leaders tell you, “Look, the kingdom is in heaven,”
then the birds of heaven will precede you.
If they say to you, “It’s in the sea,”
then the fish will precede you.
But the kingdom is inside you and it is outside you.
When you know yourselves, then you will be known,
and you will understand that you are children of the living father.
But if you do not know yourselves,
then you dwell in poverty and you are poverty. http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/gosthom-meyer.html