Is it a Sin for a Christian to Marry an Unbeliever?

This is a hotly debated and widely misunderstood subject amongst Christians. It seems the prevailing or majority view is that it is sinful. However, I hope to convince  the reader through bible exegesis that it is not sinful, provided the Christian is not hindered from following their belief and that they do not adopt the religious practices of the the unbelieving spouse.

In order to understand how and why I have come to this conclusion I think it is necessary to consider both sides of the debate. For this purpose I have included my response below to an article by the Biblenerd on the Steemit website, which they have entitled “Marrying an Unbeliever, ruins God’s Perfect Plan for You”. I have not included the Biblenerd’s actual post as it is on website for which the post attracts a financial reward per view and I do not wish to get involved in any potential copyright issues. Nevertheless, the reader may find it via a google search if they would like to see the article in its entirety. I encourage the reader to go through my response carefully and prayerfully in Jesus’ Name.

MY RESPONSE:

This article is in response to the Biblenerd article : ‘Marrying an Unbeliever, ruins God’s Perfect Plan for You’, posted on Steemit.

To the Biblenerd,

Please go through my response very carefully. I apologise for the length, but you have made many claims which must be addressed.Your article is strongly biased. All your scripture citations are misleading, taken grossly out of context and I refute all your claims.

The OT verses you have cited in reaching your conclusion that it is sinful for Christians to marry unbelievers are in fact commands issued by God to the Jews just prior to and during their time in the Promised Land. They are referring specifically to the seven nations of the country which God expressly forbade the Jews from marrying and who He had commanded to be destroyed (Deut. 7:1-5).

Let’s go through your claims:

You cherry pick the verses Malachi 2:11-12

If we put them back into context, we see the real reason why God is angry. Let’s look at the preceding verse and those that follow:

2:10  ‘Is there not one Father of us all? Did not one God create us? Why, then, do we break faith with one another, profaning the covenant of our ancestors?

2:13  ‘And here is something else you do: you cover the altar of Yahweh with tears, with weeping and wailing, because he now refuses to consider the offering or to accept it from you.

2:14: And you ask, “Why?” Because Yahweh stands as witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have broken faith, even though she was your partner and your wife by covenant.
2:15……do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
2:16  For I hate divorce, says Yahweh, God of Israel, and people concealing their cruelty under a cloak, says Yahweh Sabaoth. Have respect for your own life then, and do not break faith.

 

So we see that God was not angry with Judah for marrying an unbeliever, the foreign woman, the ‘daughter of a strange god’, but because Judah had dealt treacherously with the wife of his youth, by committing an act of adultery against her by divorcing her and then marrying the foreign woman. The mention ‘…daughter of a strange god’ could imply that he was also led astray into idolatry, or it could just be stating a fact. The treachery was the act of adultery, and this treachery would apply whether the woman was the ‘daughter of a strange god’ or Jewish.

It is clear that what God hates is divorce (Malachi 2:16). She was probably a captive woman who Judah had taken in marriage, thus breaking his covenant with God by abandoning and cheating on his wife. Jews were permitted to marry foreign women who were taken captive (Deut 21:10-14) but only those who were not of the nations which God had prohibited the Jews from marrying (See below Deut 7, 12, Ezra 9:1, Nehemiah 13:1) and who God had ordered the Jews to destroy.

Since Malachi makes it clear that it was a sin for a Jew to abandon his wife and marry another, one might assume only single, unmarried men were permitted to marry captive women ( although since polygamy was also practised at the time I suppose it is possible that a married man may also be able to take a wife from the captives) . Malachi does not say if this woman was from one of the prohibited nations or not.

 

Putting your quotes from Ezra into context, we see that Israel was engaged in idolatry.

Ezra 9:1 KJV
9 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

It says ‘….Doing according to their abominations’ -Clearly, the sin is of engaging in their idolatrous practices, and in general circumstances, would not be against the institution of marriage itself. However, these were the nations God had specifically ordered the Jews to separate from, not to marry, but to destroy, as it was also to be a judgement from God (Deut 7).Instead, they were marrying and adopting their religious practices.

Deut 7:1-5

7 When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
2 And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.
5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

Deut 12:29-31

12:29  ‘When Yahweh your God has annihilated the nations confronting you, whom you are going to dispossess, and when you have dispossessed them and made your home in their country,
12:30  beware of being entrapped into copying them, after they have been destroyed to make way for you, and do not enquire about their gods, saying, “How did these nations worship their gods? I am going to do the same too.”
12:31  This is not the way to treat Yahweh your God. For in honour of their gods they have done everything detestable that Yahweh hates; yes, in honour of their gods, they even burn their own sons and daughters as sacrifices!’

 

This was a specific command and judgement against these particular nations. These people even sacrificed and burnt their sons and daughters as offerings to their idols (Deut. 12:31), and had committed the most abominations in the sight of God and therefore God commanded the Israelites to destroy them. God warned the Israelites not to enquire after their gods and follow their practices. However, it should be noted that the command to utterly wipe out enemies however did not extend to all Israel’s enemies- Deut 21:10-14 the Israelite was permitted to marry a non-Jewish (and hence unbelieving) woman captive of war, who would then receive all the rights as a Jewish wife.

You cherry pick verses Nehemiah 13:23, 25, 26, 27. Let’s put them back into context:

Nehemiah 13:1  At that time they were reading to the people from the Book of Moses, when they found this written in it, ‘No Ammonite or Moabite is to be admitted to the assembly of God, and this is for all time…

Again, here in Nehemiah 13:1 it is implied, and actually stated in Deut 7, that God has expressly prohibited marrying specifically any of the Moabites or Ammonites as they were to be destroyed for all the abominations they had committed in the country. This was a judgement specific to these nations. Once again the Israelites disobeyed this command.

On Deut 21:10-14:

You stated:
“Ruth’s deceased husband had committed sin by marrying a heathen, but this does not mean it was okay because there is no validity given to his behavior in the scriptures. He could have been chastised for backsliding, by early death. Also his brother married a heathen and suffered the same fate.”

I say this is pure conjecture. It is not implied in the text, in fact the opposite is implied in Deut.21:10-14, which you mention when you intriguingly stated:

“God wants new converts that were already married to unbelievers, to remain together, unless the unbeliever departs, according to 1 Corinthians 7:12-15. This is different from Deuteronomy 21:10-14, where the person was already a follower of God, when they chose to marry an unbeliever under the special circumstance of having captured her in warfare. It could be assumed that our loving God allowed for this exception clause, because a woman captured in warfare even in our present day, might be raped, mistreated, depraved, or possibly even killed. By marrying a man of God from the victorious enemy country, she could avoid the evils mentioned. If a Christian does marry an unbeliever, there is precedent that such marriages are valid.”

So which is it then? It was clearly not a sin for a believer to marry an unbeliever, even in OT times, provided they were not from the forbidden nations and the believer did not participate in the religious acts and idolatry of the unbeliever.

If a Jewish man may take a foreign woman captive as a wife (Deut 21:10-14), then how much more so a foreign woman who has her freedom, if both are in agreement? Your ‘exception clause’ theory does not carry any weight- it simply reinforces the fact that marriage is honourable in all. And clearly, here, God was not concerned that these foreign women, who were not from the forbidden nations, could lead the Jews astray into idolatry. Obviously, He did not consider them a threat because He permitted the Jews to marry them.

On Solomon:

You refer to Solomon, and again, it refers to the sin of marrying and following the gods of the specific nations God had expressly forbidden to the Jews:

1 Kings 11:2

11:1  King Solomon loved many foreign women: not only Pharaoh’s daughter but Moabites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites,
11:2  from those peoples of whom Yahweh had said to the Israelites, ‘You are not to go among them nor they among you, or they will be sure to sway your hearts to their own gods.

1 Kings 11:4-10
11:4  When Solomon grew old his wives swayed his heart to other gods; and his heart was not wholly with Yahweh his God as his father David’s had been.
11:5  Solomon became a follower of Astarte, the goddess of the Sidonians, and of Milcom, the Ammonite abomination.
11:6  He did what was displeasing to Yahweh, and was not a wholehearted follower of Yahweh, as his father David had been.
11:7  Then it was that Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, on the mountain to the east of Jerusalem, and to Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites.
11:8  He did the same for all his foreign wives, who offered incense and sacrifice to their gods.
11:9  Yahweh was angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from Yahweh, God of Israel, who had twice appeared to him
11:10  and had forbidden him to follow other gods; but he did not carry out Yahweh’s order.

Solomon’s sin was twofold:
He had not only married some women from the forbidden nations, but had also started following their gods.

On David:

1 Samuel 27:8-9:

27:8  David and his men went out on raids against the Geshurites, Girzites and Amalekites, for these are the tribes inhabiting the region which, from Telam, goes in the direction of Shur, as far as Egypt.
27:9  David laid the countryside waste and left neither man nor woman alive; he carried off the sheep and cattle, the donkeys, camels and clothing, and then came back again to Achish.

 

David’s wife Maachaah was the King’s daughter.She was taken in the battle and became his wife. She would have been an enemy of Israel and an unbeliever. However, we are told in 1 Kings 11:6 that David was a ‘wholehearted follower of Yahweh’, unlike his son Solomon. The difference is that David did not follow the gods of his enemies.

Now, you may argue that Maachaah had converted and had ceased to follow her own religion. My answer to this is that she might have freely done so later on, but certainly not when captured and at the point of a sword. Any statement of allegiance to the God of Israel on her part at that time would have been lip service.This would have been more of a political alliance, and also her way of retaining a position of royalty.

So even in the OT, it can be seen that God did not consider it a sin for an Israelite to marry a foreign woman from as long as she was not from a forbidden nation, as long as he did not follow their gods and remained true to Yahweh.

From a Christian viewpoint, this makes even more sense. What are the idols of unbelievers, but less than nothingness, compared to our God? Do you really think that a true believer in Yahweh and His Son our Lord Jesus Christ would ever be led astray by the gods of unbelievers? If so, then you have totally underestimated the power of God. If that was the case, Paul would not have commanded that the believing husband must not divorce the unbelieving wife!

Why did Paul say that the believing spouse should not divorce the unbelieving spouse if, as you claim, believers will be led astray by unbelievers? Indeed, this is the constant and dead argument of those who preach against a believer marrying an unbeliever. Why does Paul say that the believing spouse should not divorce the unbelieving spouse? Please answer this.

Instead, Paul goes on to say in 1 Cor 7:16 Basic English Translation (BBE) 1 Cor 7:16 For how may you be certain, O wife, that you will not be the cause of salvation to your husband? Or you, O husband, that you may not do the same for your wife?

This parallels 1 Peter 3:1

You said: “A Christian marriage to an unbeliever is idolatrous, spiritual fornication as demonstrated and identified in 2 Chronicles 21:11, “Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.”

I say, here again, the sin is the idolatry. And your statement contradicts Paul again- he obviously does not view the marriage of a Christian and an unbeliever as idolatrous, spiritual fornication because he says they should remain together!

So clearly, God does not view the unbelieving spouse as a threat but is considered powerless against the Christian spouse. This is a true statement.

Just look at the world today. With the advent of Christ, the unbelieving nations are absolutely terrified of the power of the Gospel and so seek to prevent Bibles and missionaries from reaching their people by imprisonment and torture. Merely preaching Christianity is a crime in more than fifty countries!

Paul reiterates this on the subject of a Christian eating food offered to idols- he says although it has no power over the Christian, it is not expedient because others may be led astray into thinking it was right to eat food offered to idols, therefore it should not be eaten.This is what Paul is talking about in 2 Cor 6:14-17

Judges 3:5-7 NIV
The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.

 

Here again, we can see that God had prohibited the Israelites from marrying certain nations specifically because of their multitude of abominations and because He knew that these nations would lead the Israelites into idolatry (see also 1 Kings 11:2 above). ‘They forgot the Lord their God’.He had ordered the Israelites to destroy them and their temples. Instead, the Israelites sinned by doing exactly what He had commanded them not to do: instead of destroying them, they married them and started following their gods.

However, this was a specific judgement by God on the particular nations who were occupying the Promised Land. God executed His judgement on them through the Israelites. However, the judgement did not apply for all enemies of Israel.

Therefore one must be very careful here when trying to apply OT scripture to the question of whether a Christian may marry an unbeliever. You point out that the rest of the book of Malachi should not be dismissed if one is also following tithes Malachi 3:8, but are you not picking and mixing verses as you like when you try and make your argument? The prohibition of marriage command in Ezra, Deuteronomy, 1 Kings and Nehemiah was for the Jews against specific nations at a particular time and for a particular reason, yet you incorrectly assert that it applies to all unbelievers. What about the command? As Christians, should we utterly destroy all unbelievers and their temples as also commanded in Deuteronomy 7:1-5 above? Of course not!

 

On 2 Cor 6:14-17, 1 Cor 7:12-16, 1 Cor 7:39:

 

You say: “Paul was obviously avoiding heresy from his words, “at liberty to be married to whom she will” by limiting the scope of that liberty to Christians.”

I say, why is this obvious? If, as you claim, ‘in the Lord’ meant ‘marry only a Christian’, he would have simply said ‘marry in the Lord’ without preceding it with the false statement- the two statements do not agree and conflict with each other. He had written a letter- if he wanted to ‘avoid heresy’, as you claim, he would have simply omitted the words “at liberty to be married to whom she will”.

1 Cor 7:39 ‘…but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.’

It says, ‘to whom she will’. If “in the Lord” means only marry a Christian, then ‘to whom she will’ becomes a false statement. In fact, ‘only in the Lord’ means ‘to marry a person who is free to marry under God’s Law, i.e someone of the opposite sex who is an unmarried virgin, or a widowed person, and not some one who divorced his spouse for reasons other than sexual immorality.

See Ephesians 6:1
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

This does not mean that children should only obey their parents if they are Christian, but that they should obey them because it is a command from God, ‘honour your Father and Mother’.
If Paul meant that Christian widows should only marry Christians, he gave no such command to widows in 1 Timothy 5. Did he have one rule for them and another for those at Corinth? Those who say that he did, and qualify this because he said ‘under the current circumstances’ (1 Cor 7:26), still have to acknowledge that this is only then applicable in that particular situation.

Colossians 3:18, ‘Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord’

It is not saying that wives should submit to husbands because they are Christian, but because it is God’s will.

1 Peter 3:1 ‘Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;’

This parallels 1 Corinthians 7:12-16:
12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

As for 2 Corinthians 6:14-17, it is not speaking about whether a believer and a non-believer can get married, it is speaking about idolatry and that one must not participate in the religious and other sinful activities of unbelievers. The issue of marriage to non-believers is already settled in 1 Cor 7:12-16 If a non- believer is married to a believer and he or she wishes to remain, there must be no divorce.

Now one might say that this only applies to a case where two non-believers married and one later became a believer. But this is nowhere mentioned in the scriptures. This would be an assumption only, one will not find any scripture that says this.
1 Cor 7:12-16 implies that marriage to an unbeliever is not a sin.

You stated: “After becoming a Christian, a person who marries an unbeliever, sins against God. Except if they were already married, before one of them became a Christian.”

It can never be sinful to enter into a lawful relationship – and Paul in 1 Cor 7:14 says it is lawful for the couple to remain together. It is not a sin. God would not ask you to continue in something He hates, i.e live in sin.

Or are you saying He does? Please answer this.

Whereas in the case of adultery, it is a sin, and the only way to repent of the sin would be to break off the relationship.
It is not a sin to marry an unbeliever. It is a sin to participate in their religious and other sinful activities. Besides, 2 Cor 7 also says, ‘be ye separate’ and ‘come out from among them’, which cannot then be referring to marriage because it directly contradicts 1 Cor 7:12-14.

You talk about spiritual fornication and quote Jeremiah 3:8, where God issues a certificate of divorce to Israel (meaning that He had been symbolically married to Israel) and you try and make this analogous to a Christian marring an unbeliever. But you fail to realise that in Jeremiah 3 God calls His people to come BACK to Him, meaning that they were BELIEVERS, who had treacherously deserted Him to follow idols. Indeed, Jeremiah 3 and 4 go on to say that even after divorcing Israel and Judah , He will accept them back if they repent!

This is analogous to Jesus’ statement on adultery and divorce which is for believing couples. Contrast this with the case of an believer and an unbeliever in a mixed marriage. The believer must not divorce the unbelieving spouse if he or she wishes to remain, but if the unbeliever wishes to leave, the believer was to let them go, they were no longer considered bound, as Paul clarified under inspiration of the Holy Spirit 1 Cor 7:12-16. It should go without saying that the believer, by virtue of the term cannot therefore be engaging in the religious practices of the unbeliever. 2 Cor 6:14-17 forbids it.

As you pointed out, the unbeliever is following false gods. But the unbeliever would still be following false gods in the mixed marriage situation Paul describes, yet he says that the believer must not divorce the unbeliever if he or she chooses to remain.

Clearly then, for a Christian, it is permissible to marry an unbeliever provided the Christian is not prevented from following their Christian faith by the unbelieving spouse and as long as the Christian does not participate in the religious activities of the unbelieving spouse. Believers are yoked to God. The unequal yoke with unbelievers arises when the believer adopts the unbeliever’s religious practices such as idolatry and treacherously deserts God. Paul has stated that the believer in a mixed marriage is still a believer.

Intriguingly, after your vehement stance against spiritually mixed marriages you state:

“If a Christian does marry an unbeliever, there is precedent that such marriages are valid”, and you refer to the case of Esther and King Xerxes.

So which is it?

You also state, under your heading ‘Losing a your Christian soulmate’:

“If you are ….immature, …..a false convert, and you marry an unbeliever, when God had someone especially planned for you………………, your soul-mate will be given to someone else. If your soulmate was obedient, they will not be jeopardized by your foolishness, God planned everything in advance, so though they are your soulmate, their soulmate is someone else. So by choosing to marry an unbeliever, you are mostly harming yourself.”

Please show me exactly where this is stated in the Bible?

As we have seen, Deut 21:10-14, it was legal for an Israelite man to marry a foreign (and therefore an unbeliever) captive of war. The sin would be if the Israelite was to adopt their religious practices and to follow their gods.

Consider this also:

1 Corinthians 5 NJB
5:9  In my letter, I wrote to you that you should have nothing to do with people living immoral lives.
5:10  I was not including everybody in this present world who is sexually immoral, or everybody who is greedy, or dishonest or worships false gods — that would mean you would have to cut yourselves off completely from the world.
5:11  In fact what I meant was that you were not to have anything to do with anyone going by the name of brother who is sexually immoral, or is greedy, or worships false gods, or is a slanderer or a drunkard or dishonest; never even have a meal with anybody of that kind.
5:12  It is no concern of mine to judge outsiders. It is for you to judge those who are inside, is it not?
5:13  But outsiders are for God to judge. You must banish this evil-doer from among you.

Don’t you think you are being judgmental?

You and those who share your view must answer all the questions raised, they cannot be ignored. You are greatly mistaken.

Remember, marriage is honourable in all.

The Art of Evasion – or Lying?

If anyone wants to see the dangerous and deceitful nature of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the trinity, please carefully read the following email exchange I had with pastor Arvind Balaram of DBF Church, Gurgaon, India.

4.12.16
Dear Arvind,

It was lovely to meet and speak with you today at DBF Gurgaon.

To recap our conversation re the DBF ‘What we believe’ statement, I want to make it clear that I agree with the Apostle’s Creed, which includes essentially all the points in the DBF statement of faith, except point 2:

“We believe in one God, creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternal existing in three persons, Father, Son & Holy Spirit.”

As I explained to you, I wanted clarity from you regarding point 2 above. To me, it seems like your church is promoting the Roman Catholic doctrine of the trinity, which is not in the Bible, and nevertheless is still promoted by many so called protestant churches. It would appear that you also believe in this doctrine as you acknowledged that you believe God to be a triune god. The triune god was unheard of by the apostles and early church fathers of the first two centuries.

Please do not misunderstand me, I am not saying that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not mentioned in the Bible, of course they are; and I am not saying that they are not in unity, of course they are; I am saying that they are not as described in Roman Catholic doctrine of the trinity, and that God is not described as being a triune god in the Bible.

As you advised, I read your sermon in order to gain a better understanding of what you believe. I will be honest and say that I intend to convince you otherwise.

Why is this so important? Why am I so concerned?

Most scholars know that the Roman Catholic church is the apostate and antichrist church of Revelation. If you do not know this, please verify this for yourself through prayer and further study. With that in mind, it ought to raise alarm bells when the Roman Catholic Church says that it considers its Doctrine of the Trinity to be “the foundation of its whole dogmatic system”. Why? And why was it formulated over several centuries upon pain of death?

The answer lies in the fact that it misrepresents the Father and the Son. Thereby creating a false god, an idol, leading the believer into spiritual adultery. It is satan’s masterpiece of deception. Once one accepts this ‘mystery’, more ‘mysteries’ can be created and used to deceive- as the Roman Church has been and is doing so well. So well, that many protestant churches have swallowed this false doctrine -hook, line and sinker!

You may think that I am exaggerating, but it is a fact that people have been executed in the past for opposing this doctrine. The angel in Revelation tells us to “come out of her, my people!”, i.e., come out of false doctrine and false church, which is spiritual adultery. Such warnings should not be ignored.

You said in your sermon: “…so now there’s God in heaven and God on earth, and they’re talking to each other and everything – but at the same time it’s the same God, and not two Gods!”

I say: The Father resides in the Son, and they are in unity of purpose, but they are two separate beings. The true God is the Father, yet it is not incorrect to call the Son a God, and to also honour him as the Father, the true God, is honoured.
John 5:22-23 KJV

You said in your sermon: “..Because God is a Trinity, God is love

o now I just want you to think about this for a moment – if God was only

one, single person, then what would His nature be like?”

I say: God Almighty, the Father, is a single person in the Bible, and this does not affect His ability to love. 1 Corinthians 8:6 KJV.
Where does the “three in one” fit in here?

The word “Trinity” is not in the Bible, neither is “triune”, or “co-equal” and “co-eternal”. Neither is the concept described of the trinity as described by the Roman Church. None of the early church fathers knew of this doctrine. Certainly not the apostles. It is a concept originally derived from the Greek philosophers. The Father and the Son are described in the Bible precisely because they are meant to be understood in this manner- a ‘Father, Son’ love relationship is something mankind can relate to, not a man made ‘mystery’ which is not even understood by its makers. Not only that, it is not even required, God can be plainly understood from the Bible as it stands. For the doctrine of the RC trinity to be understood, the Bible would have to be rewritten.

Please do more research this issue, for your own sake, as well as your congregation. For me also- I would like to attend this church! But I cannot if this is what your Church believes.

But I am not the only one who is warning about the RC trinity. If you are interested, this topic is explored in greater depth on my blog havefaithinjesus.wordpress.com

I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Kind regards

Reply by Arvind on 4/12/16

Thanks for your email, it’s good to hear from you. Thanks for sharing your concerns about our belief in the Trinity. I just wanted to clarify one thing from your email. You wrote, “The true God is the Father, yet it is not incorrect to call the Son a God, and to also honour him as the Father, the true God, is honoured.” Does that mean that there are two Gods? Please clarify.

Blessings,
Arvind

My reply on 8/12/16

Dear Arvind, You asked, ” “Does that mean that there are two Gods? Please clarify.”
Sure, I will explain what I mean, although I note that you did not answer my question re 1 Corinthians 8:6!
Before I explain, I want to just ponder again for a moment what you said in your sermon:
“…God is one, but at the same time He exists in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who are also each fully God o you can think of it like this – the Father is 100% God, and the Son is 100% God, and the Spirit is 100% God, but when you add it up it equals to 100% God § It doesn’t add up to 300%, it’s not three gods – it adds up to 100%, one God And it’s not as if the Father is 33%, Son is 33% and Spirit 33% – they are all 100% God, but together they add up to 100% God – It’s a mystery – we can’t comprehend..”

I say: You are telling me that there are 3 Gods (line 3 above) and then you say that they are not three Gods (line 4). You call this a mystery. In other words, you expect to me to believe that when you say there are three Gods, there are actually not 3 Gods, but only one. You expect everyone to take your word for it and to accept this statement without question.

What does “Trinity” mean? The use of English would suggest it means “three in unity”, i.e. “Three “Gods” in unity of purpose”, but then you are claiming that there are not three Gods but actually a single God, as in a single entity, no more or less. Whether you like it or not, you have stated three Gods- you have not differentiated between them, you claim they are all equally God, equal in power and authority, but to get round this problem (you know that scripture says there is only one true God), you state that all three make up the ‘one God’, and that without any of these, there is no God.

Yet, when I say that it is not incorrect to call Jesus ‘a/myGod’, (see also my the reasons given below), would I be wrong in assuming that by your question you are attempting to accuse me of being a polytheist?

Let’s take this a bit further. Suppose I said to you that there are two Gods, each being 100% God but actually they add up to one God. I then tell you that it does not make any sense but we should believe it anyway. Would you accept my statement?

However, scripture, Jesus, the apostles and the early church never gave a description of God as you are suggesting. Remember, Jesus said he has a God, and this God is his Father, who is greater than him. I have quoted extracts of some of the early church fathers at the end which corroborate this and I think you will find it very educational, particularly the extracts from Irenaeus’ writings.

Contrast your trinity definition with what Jesus says. You will see that what I say agrees with Jesus’ statement and that of the early church,, that there is only one true God, the Father, and that the Son, the Word of God, who is begotten of the Father, is therefore also a god, and that it is not incorrect to call Jesus a god.

John 17:3 KJV
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
John 10:33-36
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
I say: Jesus himself is saying it is acceptable to call him a god because he is the Son of God and he is bearing God’s message. In John 17:3 he clarifies that the Father is the true God.
In Isaiah 9:5, the Holy Spirit inspired the prophet to describe Jesus as ‘mighty god’.
Let’s look at Psalm 82:6-8 KJV:
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.
Psalm 136:2 KJV
2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
John 5:20-25 KJV
20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
I say: it is therefore acceptable to call Jesus “God” in the sense that he is the Son of God; and as the early church father Irenaeus says, his dominion over Creation was given to him by His Father.
The Apostle Paul also understood this and the role of Jesus Christ:

Philippians 2:6-11 KJV
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Paul also understood that Jesus is subject to His Father 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, which goes against the doctrine of the RC trinity, but agrees with Jesus’ statement, ” the Father is greater than I”, and “I go to my God and your God”.
The Apostle John also understood Jesus as being a ‘God’ in the same manner:
John 1:1-2 KJV:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
John 20:31 KJV:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
I say: in John 20:31, John leaves us in no doubt that the Word of God ‘who became flesh’ is distinct from the Most High.
I say: This agrees with Jesus when he says the true God is the Father.
It all depends what you mean by the word ‘God/Elohim/theos’. In the Bible it may mean the Most High or even ‘judge’ or ‘magistrate’, depending on the context. Jesus told us to honour him as we honour the Father. If I say ‘Jesus is my God’, it is meant in the sense below:
John 12:44-45 KJV
44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
If I say ‘Jesus is my God’, it is meant in the above sense, i.e., ‘he that sees me does not see me but the One who sent me’.
Jesus glorified his Father, not himself, and was acting under the authority of the true God, his Father. And so it is in the Bible and also as recorded by some of the early church fathers (1st and 2nd century). They all considered it acceptable to call Jesus ‘God’, but not in the same line as when the God the Father is mentioned; in these instances Jesus is referred to as the ‘ the Lord Jesus Christ’ or the ‘Lord’, making the distinction. The supreme title of God/ the Most High is reserved for the Father only.

I have included some extracts of the writings from the early church fathers of the first two centuries AD. You may find them interesting and educational. They bear no resemblance to Roman Catholic doctrine of the trinity and the definition which you supplied.


Ignatius of Antioch (AD110-117), friend of Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John.
Ignatius to the Ephesians 15:
“15:1 It is better to keep silence and to be, than to talk and not to be. It is a fine thing to teach, if the speaker practise. Now there is one teacher, who_spake and it came to pass:_ yea and even the things which He hath done in silence are worthy of the Father.” “15:2 He that truly possesseth the word of Jesus is able also to hearken unto His silence, that he may be perfect; that through his speech he may act and through his silence he may be known.” “15:3 Nothing is hidden from the Lord, but even our secrets are nigh unto Him. Let us therefore do all things as knowing that He dwelleth in us, to the end that we may be His temples and He Himself may be in us as our God. This is so, and it will also be made clear in our sight from the love which we rightly bear towards Him.”
Ignatius to the Ephesians 18:2
“18:2 For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived in the womb by Mary according to a dispensation, of the seed of David but also of the Holy Ghost; and He was born and was baptized that by His passion He might cleanse water.”

Ignatius to the Romans 0:0
“Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her that hath found mercy in the bountifulness of the Father Most High and of Jesus Christ His only Son; to the church that is beloved and enlightened through the will of Him who willed all things that are, by faith and love towards Jesus Christ our God;” I say: I may call Jesus Christ ‘God’ because he is quite simply the only begotten Son of the one true God the Father the Most High., as Jesus himself stated. Just as Jesus is a man, because he said he is the Son of Man.

Ignatius to the Romans 3:3
“3:3 Nothing visible is good. For our God Jesus Christ, being in the Father, is the more plainly visible. The Work is not of persuasiveness, but Christianity is a thing of might, whensoever it is hated by the world.”

Ignatius to the Philippians 2:

“There is then one God and Father, and not two or three; One who is; and there is no other besides Him, the only true [God]. For “the Lord thy God,” saith [the Scripture], “is one Lord.” And again, “Hath not one God created us? Have we not all one Father? And there is also one Son, God the Word. For “the only-begotten Son,” saith [the Scripture], “who is in the bosom of the Father.” And again, “One Lord Jesus Christ.” And in another place, “What is His name, or what His Son’s name, that we may know?” And there is also one Paraclete. For “there is also,” saith [the Scripture], “one Spirit,” since “we have been called in one hope of our calling.” And again, “We have drunk of one Spirit,” with what follows. And it is manifest that all these gifts [possessed by believers] “worketh one and the selfsame Spirit.” There are not then either three Fathers, or three Sons, or three Paracletes, but one Father, and one Son, and one Paraclete. Wherefore also the Lord, when He sent forth the apostles to make disciples of all nations, commanded them to “baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” not unto one [person] having three names, nor into three [persons] who became incarnate, but into three possessed of equal honour.”
Ignatius Letter to Polycarp 8:

“I pray for your happiness for ever in our God, Jesus Christ, by whom continue in the unity and under the protection of God, I salute Alce, my dearly beloved. Fare well in the Lord.”

Justin Martyr: Dialogue with Trypho Ch 56:
“…Reverting to the scriptures, I shall endeavour to persuade you, that He who is said to have appeared to Abraham, and to Jacob, and to Moses, and who is called God, is distinct from Him who made all things—numerically, I mean, not [distinct] in will. For I affirm that He has never at any time done anything which He who made the world—above whom there is no other God—has not wished Him both to do and to engage Himself with.”

Ch 126 Justin:

” But if you knew, Trypho, who He is that is called at one time the Angel of great counsel, and a Man by Ezekiel, and like the Son of man by Daniel, and a Child by Isaiah, and Christ and God to be worshipped by David, and Christ and a Stone by many, and Wisdom by Solomon, and Joseph and Judah and a Star by Moses, and the East by Zechariah, and the Suffering One and Jacob and Israel by Isaiah again, and a Rod, and Flower, and Corner-Stone, and Son of God, you would not have blasphemed Him who has now come, and been born, and suffered, and ascended to heaven; who shall also come again, and then your twelve tribes shall mourn. For if you had understood what has been written by the prophets, you would not have denied that He was God, Son of the only, unbegotten, unutterable God.”

Irenaeus AD 180. In his youth, Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of the Apostle John.

Irenaeus Against Heresies Book 1 ch 10 (Bold emphasis mine):
“1. The Church, though dispersed through our the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father to gather all things in one, Ephesians 1:10 and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess Philippians 2:10-11 to Him, and that He should execute just judgement towards all; that He may send spiritual wickednesses, Ephesians 6:12 and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire, but may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments, and have persevered in His love, some from the beginning [of their Christian course], and others from [the date of] their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory.” “2. As I have already observed, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul, and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth. For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same. For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world. But as the sun, that creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shines everywhere, and enlightens all men that are willing to come to a knowledge of the truth. Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these (for no one is greater than the Master); nor, on the other hand, will he who is deficient in power of expression inflict injury on the tradition. For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it.”

Irenaeus Against Heresies Book 1 ch 22 (Bold emphasis mine):
“1. The rule of truth which we hold, is, that there is one God Almighty, who made all things by His Word, and fashioned and formed, out of that which had no existance all things which exist. Thus says the Scripture to that effect By the Word of the Lord were the heavens established, and all the might of them, by the spirit of His mouth. And again, All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made. John 1:3. There is no exception or deduction stated; but the Father made all things by Him, whether visible or invisible, objects of sense or of intelligence, temporal, on account of a certain character given them, or eternal; and these eternal things He did not make by angels, or by any powers separated from His Ennœa. For God needs none of all these things, but is He who, by His Word and Spirit, makes, and disposes, and governs all things, and commands all things into existence- He who formed the world (for the world is of all)—He who fashioned man—He [who] is the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, above whom there is no other God, nor initial principle, nor power, nor pleroma,— He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we shall prove.

Irenaeus Against Heresies Book 3: 2(Bold emphasis mine)
“These have all declared to us that there is one God, Creator of heaven and earth, announced by the law and the prophets; and one Christ the Son of God. If any one do not agree to these truths, he despises the companions of the Lord; nay more, he despises Christ Himself the Lord; yea, he despises the Father also, and stands self-condemned, resisting and opposing his own salvation, as is the case with all heretics.”

Irenaeus Against heresies Book 3 ch 6 (Bold emphasis mine):

“1. Therefore neither would the Lord, nor the Holy Spirit, nor the apostles, have ever named as God, definitely and absolutely, him who was not God, unless he were truly God; nor would they have named any one in his own person Lord, except God the Father ruling over all, and His Son who has received dominion from His Father over all creation, as this passage has it: The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool. Here the [Scripture] represents to us the Father addressing the Son; He who gave Him the inheritance of the heathen, and subjected to Him all His enemies. Since, therefore, the Father is truly Lord, and the Son truly Lord, the Holy Spirit has fitly designated them by the title of Lord. And again, referring to the destruction of the Sodomites, the Scripture says, Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the Lord out of heaven. Genesis 19:24 For it here points out that the Son, who had also been talking with Abraham, had received power to judge the Sodomites for their wickedness. And this [textfollowing] does declare the same truth: Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the sceptre of Your kingdom is a right sceptre. You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: therefore God, Your God, has anointed You.

For the Spirit designates both [of them] by the name, of God— both Him who is anointed as Son, and Him who does anoint, that is, the Father. And again: God stood in the congregation of the gods, He judges among the gods. He [here] refers to the Father and the Son, and those who have received the adoption; but these are the Church. For she is the synagogue of God, which God— that is, the Son Himself— has gathered by Himself. Of whom He again speaks: The God of gods, the Lord has spoken, and has called the earth.

Who is meant by God? He of whom He has said, God shall come openly, our God, and shall not keep silence; that is, the Son, who came manifested to men who said, I have openly appeared to those who seek Me not. Isaiah 65:1

But of what gods [does he speak]? [Of those] to whom He says, I have said, You are gods, and all sons of the Most High. To those, no doubt, who have received the grace of the adoption, by which we cry, Abba Father. Romans 8:15” “2. Wherefore, as I have already stated, no other is named as God, or is called Lord, except Him who is God and Lord of all, who also said to Moses, I am that I am. And thus shall you say to the children of Israel: He who is, has sent me unto you; Exodus 3:14 and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who makes those that believe in His name the sons of God. And again, when the Son speaks to Moses, He says, I have come down to deliver this people. Exodus 3:8 For it is He who descended and ascended for the salvation of men. Therefore God has been declared through the Son, who is in the Father, and has the Father in Himself — He who is, the Father bearing witness to the Son, and the Son announcing the Father.— As also Esaias says, I too am witness, he declares, says the Lord God, and the Son whom I have chosen, that you may know, and believe, and understand that I am. Isaiah 43:10”

Book 3 Ch 6 (Bold emphasis mine)

“4. Wherefore I do also call upon you, Lord God of Abraham, and God of Isaac, and God of Jacob and Israel who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who, through the abundance of Your mercy, has had a favour towards us, that we should know You, who has made heaven and earth, who rule over all, who is the only and the true God, above whom there is none other God; grant, by our Lord Jesus Christ, the governing power of the Holy Spirit; give to every reader of this book to know You, that You are God alone, to be strengthened in You, and to avoid every heretical, and godless, and impious doctrine.”

From Irenaeus, Proof of the Apostolic Preaching (extract of translation by J. Armitage Robinson (Bold emphasis mine):

“3. Now faith occasions this for us; even as the Elders, the disciples of the Apostles, have handed down to us. First of all it bids us bear in mind that we have received baptism for the remission of sins, in the name of God the Father, and in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was incarnate and died and rose again, and in the Holy Spirit of God. And that this baptism is the seal of eternal life, and is the new birth unto God, that we should no longer be the sons of mortal men, but of the eternal and perpetual God; and that what is everlasting and continuing is made God;11 and is over all things that are made, and all things are put under Him; 73 and all the things that are put under Him are made His own; for God is not ruler and Lord over the things of another, but over His own;12 and all things are God’s; and therefore God is Almighty, and all things are of God.” “4. For it is necessary that things that are made should have the beginning of their making from some great cause; and the beginning of all things is God. For He Himself was not made by any, and by Him all things were made. And therefore it is right first of all to believe that there is One God, the Father, who made and fashioned all things, and made what was not that it should be, and who, containing all things, alone is uncontained.13 Now among all things is this world of ours, and in the world is man: so then this world also was formed by God.” “5. Thus then there is shown forth 14 One God, the Father, not made, invisible, creator of all things; above whom there is no other God, and after whom there is no other God.15 And, since God is rational, |74 therefore by (the) Word He created the things that were made;16 and God is Spirit, and by (the) Spirit He adorned all things: as also the prophet says: By the word of the Lord were the heavens established, and by his spirit all their power.17 Since then the Word establishes, that is to say, gives body 18 and grants the reality of being, and the Spirit gives order and form to the diversity of the powers; rightly and fittingly is the Word called the Son, and the Spirit the Wisdom of God. Well also does Paul His apostle say: One God, the Father, who is over all and through all and in us all.19 For over all is the Father; and through all is the Son, for through Him all things were made by the Father; and in us all is the Spirit, who cries Abba Father, 20 and fashions man into the likeness of God.4 Now the Spirit shows forth the Word, and therefore the prophets announced the Son of God; and the Word utters the Spirit, and therefore is Himself the announcer of the prophets, and leads and draws man to the Father.”

“6. This then is the order of the rule of our faith, and the foundation of the building, and the |75 stability of our conversation: God, the Father, not made, not material, invisible; one God, the creator of all things: this is the first point21 of our faith. The second point is: The Word of God, Son of God, Christ Jesus our Lord, who was manifested to the prophets according to the form of their prophesying and according to the method of the dispensation of the Father:22 through whom all things were made; who also at the end of the times, to complete and gather up23 all things, was made man among men, visible and tangible,24 in order to abolish death and show forth life and produce a community of union between God and man. And the third point is: The Holy Spirit, through whom the prophets prophesied, and the fathers learned the things of God, and the righteous were led forth into the way of righteousness; and who in the end of the times was poured out in a new way upon mankind in all the earth, renewing man unto God.”

“8. And by the Spirit the Father is called Most High and Almighty and Lord of hosts; that we may learn concerning God that He* it is who is creator of heaven and earth and all the world, and maker of angels and men, and Lord of all, through whom all things exist and by whom all things are sustained; merciful, compassionate and very tender, good, just, the God of all, both of Jews and of Gentiles, and of them that believe. To them that believe He is as Father, for in the end of the times He opened up the covenant of adoption; |77 but to the Jews as Lord and Lawgiver, for in the intermediate times, when man forgat God and departed and revolted from Him, He brought them into subjection by the Law, that they might learn that they had for Lord the maker and creator, who also gives the breath of life, and whom we ought to worship day and night: and to the Gentiles as maker and creator and almighty: and to all alike sustainer and nourisher and king and judge; for none shall escape and be delivered from His judgment, neither Jew nor Gentile, nor believer that has sinned, nor angel: but they who now reject His goodness shall know His power in judgment, according to that which the blessed apostle says: Not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance; but according to thy hardness and impenitent heart thou treasurest up for thyself wrath in the day of wrath and of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who shall render to every man according to his works.25 This is He who is called in the Law the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of the living; although the sublimity and greatness of this God is unspeakable.”
My note:*Please note that the Most High God is ‘He’ , singular.
“40. Thus then the Word of God in all things hath the pre-eminence;112 for that He is true man and Wonderful Counsellor and Mighty God;113 calling men anew to fellowship with God, that by fellowship with Him we may partake of incorruption. So then He who was proclaimed by the law through Moses, and by the prophets of the Most High and Almighty God, as Son of the Father of all; He from whom all things are, He who spake with Moses—-He came into Judaea, generated from God by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary, even of her who was of the seed of David and of Abraham, Jesus the Anointed of God,showing Himself to be the One who was proclaimed beforehand by the prophets.”
“41. And His forerunner was John the Baptist) who prepared and made ready the people beforehand for the reception of the Word of life; declaring that He was the Christ, on whom the Spirit of God rested, mingling with His flesh.”
“47. So then the Father is Lord and the Son is Lord, and the Father is God and the Son is God; for that which is begotten of God is God. And so in the substance and power of His being there is shown forth one God; but there is also according to the economy of our redemption both Son and Father. Because to created things the Father of all is invisible and unapproachable,135 therefore those who are to draw near to God must have their access to the Father through the Son. And yet more plainly and evidently does David speak concerning the Father and the Son as follows: Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: thou hast loved righteousness and hated unrighteousness: therefore God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.136 For the Son, as being God, receives from the Father, that is, from God, the throne of the everlasting kingdom, and the oil of anointing above His fellows. The oil of anointing is the Spirit, wherewith He has been anointed; and His fellows are prophets and righteous men and apostles, and all who receive the fellowship of His kingdom, that is to say, His disciples.”

As you can see, the early church had a very different understanding of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Kind regards

Arvind’s response 8/12/16:

Thanks for your lengthy and detailed reply. But to be honest I don’t feel like you answered my question – are there two Gods, or just one? This isn’t to ‘accuse’ you of anything, but I’m just trying to understand what exactly you are saying. You mentioned that it is acceptable to call Jesus ‘God’, but at the same time you are saying that it is the Father who is the ‘true’ God. It almost sounds like you are saying that the Father is more ‘God’ than Jesus, but they are both somehow ‘God’. So it sounds to me like you are saying that there are two Gods, one higher and one lesser – but I’m not sure if that is what you are saying. Again, please clarify.

Also, you said at the end of the attachment that ‘the early church had a very different understanding of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ – but I can’t really see how what you quoted there is different from what I believe (except for one line in there which seems to suggest that everyone who has received the grace of adoption is a ‘god’ – but even that I’m not sure if I’ve understood correctly. Is that the difference you are referring to?).

I’m sorry if I am a little dense! But I don’t feel we can even begin any kind of discussion unless I at least first understand what you are saying. So I would appreciate if you could spell out your understanding of all this very clearly.

Thanks,
Arvind

My response 8/12/16
Dear Arvind,

I do not think you are dense, but I do believe you have been deceived.

That’s right. I am saying there is the Father, His name is Yahweh, the Most High God, the true God, the Almighty; and there is also the Son of God, the Word of God, who became flesh, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The Son is subject to the Father. Yes, the Father is greater than the Son. You sound surprised, yet Jesus says very clearly that his Father is greater than him. As the Son says, he cannot do anything without the Father, who sent him. Scripture has termed both of them Gods, the Father being above all. The Son emanates from the Father just as a sunbeam emanates from the Sun.

Now if God has a Son, the Son must be a God also. Yes?

What does Paul mean when he says those who believe in God will be “joint-heirs” with Christ?

Romans 8:14-19 KJV

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

So yes, those who have received the Spirit of adoption are also sons of god, or ‘gods’, as Irenaeus also points out, only less mighty. And yes, this is another fundamental contradiction between the gospel and your definition of God and the trinity, and it is a very important one. We know that anything which contradicts the gospel is false.

Let us remember that everything will ultimately be subject to the Father, including Jesus Christ himself. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28

Do you understand now?

How do you explain 1 Corinthians 8:6 in terms of your definition of God?

Kind regards

Arvind’s response 9/12/16:

So are you also god?

My response 9/12/16:

All who receive the Spirit of adoption are children of God. I am an adopted child of God and I call Him Father.
Now, for the fourth time, please answer my question. How does your definition of God fit with 1 Cor 8:6? Why are you being so evasive? Surely if your definition is scriptural and in line with the gospel of Jesus Christ you should have no difficulty in explaining it?

Arvinds response 10/12/.16

Sorry for not answering your question about 1 Cor 8:6 – I wasn’t trying to be evasive, I just got caught up in trying to understand what you believe and so missed answering your question. It’s interesting that you ask about 1 Cor 8:6, it is actually a very precious verse for me. Paul is here contrasting the ‘many gods’ and ‘many lords’ of the pagans with the one God and Lord of Christianity. Of course God and Lord are equivalent terms for Paul – there is only God, who is the Lord of heaven and earth (e.g. Deut 6:4-5). I hope you wouldn’t disagree with me on this point – again, Paul’s whole point in this verse is to contrast the ‘one God’ of Christianity with the ‘many gods’ of the other religions (not the ‘two gods’ of Christianity and the ‘many gods’ of the other religions). So this actually turns out to be a very ‘Trinitarian’ verse – the Father is God, the Lord Jesus is God, and yet within this one God, the Father and Son are distinct from one another. They also have different roles within the Godhead – all things come ‘from’ the Father and are ‘for’ Him, but it all happens ‘through’ the Son.

Do you read this verse differently? How do you understand it?

I must confess that I’m still a little confused about what you believe about all this, and how it differs from what I believe. You said earlier that you wanted to ‘convince’ me that I am ‘deceived’ in my belief in the Trinity, but that is going to be difficult to do if I don’t even understand what you believe! Probably we can at least begin to make progress if you can give me a clear answer to this question: how many Gods/gods are there?

Blessings in Christ,
Arvind

My response on 11/12/16
Arvind, you said:

“So this actually turns out to be a very ‘Trinitarian’ verse – the Father is God, the Lord Jesus is God, and yet within this one God, the Father and Son are distinct from one another. They also have different roles within the Godhead – all things come ‘from’ the Father and are ‘for’ Him, but it all happens ‘through’ the Son….”
“…I must confess that I’m still a little confused about what you believe about all this, and how it differs from what I believe”.

I say:

You still do not understand.
How is this a ” ‘Trinitarian’ verse”, as you claim, the same? How does it jump from ‘but to us there is one God the Father’ to ‘the Father is God, the Lord Jesus is God’? That meaning cannot be derived from this verse at at all. What happened to your “God the Holy Spirit”? In your definition, your “triune” god is three co-equal and co-eternal persons, “God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Instead, Paul reminds us that there is BUT one God, the FATHER. It is quite clear that Paul does not consider the Father and the Son as equal. Neither does the Son.

But if you say that rest of scripture says this, you are again mistaken.

You see, you are forgetting that Jesus also says he has a God, and this God is his Father. Does it says in scripture that the Father has a God? Of course not, because the Father is the Most High, the Supreme God. Which means He is above Jesus, because He is the God of Jesus, which means they cannot be equal. The Father is the head of Jesus, just as Jesus is the head of the Church. Surely you know this? What is so difficult to understand? It’s really very simple and straightforward. God is not the author of confusion.

When Paul applies the word ‘Lord’ to Jesus in 1 Cor 8:6, it is used in the context of Acts 2:36:

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God HATH MADE the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

And Acts 2:34-35:

34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

So, the Father is also ‘Lord’, and since he has MADE Jesus a Lord, He is also the Lord of Jesus -but Paul has stated it in this manner to differentiate between the Father and the Son. God the Father conferred Lordship on Jesus. Which means the Father is greater in authority than Jesus. Jesus said ‘The Father is greater than I’. Although the Father is the Lord and God of Jesus, the word ‘Lord’ which Paul uses in 1 Cor 8:6 is not referring to the Father, but to the Son.
This is where you are confused. It must be- or else you are saying the Father is the Son!

So Paul is very clearly stating that the Father is the one true God and that the Son is not.

Paul reiterates this in his opening of address of his letter 2 Cor 1:3:

Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

So does Peter in 1 Peter 1:3:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

Now it should be obvious that this God mentioned above cannot be Jesus, because we are told that it is his Father. So we know that Jesus has a God, who is his Father.

1 Cor 8:6
6 But to us there is BUT one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in HIM;

and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Please note that the ‘one God’, the Father, is referred to in the third person, singular.

Do you see now why your definition of the trinity does not fit?

Arvinds response on 11/12/16
Thanks for your reply. Please also answer the question I asked: how many Gods/gods are there?

Sent from my iPhone

My reply on 11/12/16
Ok I thought I had already made that clear in all my mails. There is one true God, the Father and Jesus is the Son of God….Jesus acknowledges his Father is the true God. As I proved in my previous mails, those who have the Spirit of adoption are children of God. They may also be referred to as ‘gods’ according to scripture, but the one true God is the Father; Jesus did not preach another God but the same since the beginning, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, i.e. the God who sent him.

Arvind’s response on 12/12/16
So the Father is the ‘true God’, but there are other lesser ‘gods’ as well, such as Jesus and all of God’s adopted children (like you, and possibly me too ). So isn’t it correct to say that you are a polytheist?

My response on 12/12/16
No, it is not correct to say that I am a polytheist, because for me the one true God is the Father, and I worship Him only through His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Many Jews at the time of Christ also mistakenly levelled the same accusation at the early Christians and claimed that by calling Jesus the Son of God, the Christians were worshipping another god and advocating polytheism.; but this is clearly wrong because Jesus himself preached worship of the one true God, his Father, and stated that no one could gain access to the Father except through the Son. This is why the Son is called the mediator between God and Man. This Is why the Son taught us how to pray to the Father and why he constantly prayed to the Father also. Ultimately Jesus Christ will return everything to the Father. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.

Do you understand now?

Here’s a question for you- an easy one for any child of God but one which will cause palpitations for the believer in a ‘triune god’and the roman catholic doctrine of the trinity:

Who is the Most High God?

My mail again to Arvind after no response:

1 Peter 3:15 kJV

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

In the same spirit that I have shown, please answer the question I had asked you in my previous mail:

Who is the Most High God?

Arvind’s reply on 20/12/16

Sorry for the slow reply, we have been extremely busy with many programmes going on at the church this month!

I’m sorry for this, but after much reflection and prayer I think this will most likely be my last communication with you on this subject. I’ve enjoyed discussing this extremely important matter with you over email, but at this point I think it looks highly unlikely that either of us will convince the other of our positions on this issue. So at this point I think it’s best to end the discussion, and trust that God will give both of us more light in due time (along with humble hearts to receive it!). I hope this is OK with you.

In regards to the question you asked, I believe that the Most High God is the one, infinite, eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, Creator, Sustainer, compassionate, kind, slow to anger, abounding in love, who doesn’t share His glory with another. This is in fact one of the reasons that I can not accept the views that you’ve shared with me over the course of this email exchange, because if the Father and the Son are indeed two completely separate beings, then it is unthinkable to “call the Son a God, and to also honour him as the Father, the true God, is honoured” (as you stated in one of your previous emails). The Most High God does not share His glory with any other (Isa 48:11), unless that ‘other’ is also the Most High God. To call anyone ‘God’, and to honour anyone as we honour the Most High God, is actually blasphemy – unless again that other being is also the Most High God.

By the way another reason I can not accept your views on these matters is that you seem to use the word ‘god’/’God’ very casually, in that Jesus is a god/God, and those who are adopted as children of God are also somehow ‘gods’. But the Most High God makes it very clear that we shall have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7), and thus you again seem to be advocating a position that is clearly incorrect (and even blasphemous). These are extremely grave and serious errors! It’s hard to understand how you can believe what the Bible teaches about the Most High God, and yet continue to promote such views. Please be careful- our God is a jealous God (Ex 34:14)!

Anyway you can please feel free to respond, but as I mentioned above this will hopefully be my last communication to you on this subject (though I would certainly be happy to be in touch about other matters of course!). Thanks for the discussion we’ve had, it was interesting and thought-provoking for me. Hope to see you again soon sometime, please be in touch. All the best, and God bless you!

In Christ,
Arvind

My response to Arvind 20/12/16
Arvind,

Our discussion highlights the blasphemy of a ‘triune god’ and the trinity as described by the Roman Catholic church. You proved it:

I had asked you a simple question, “Who is the Most High God?”. The answer in the Bible is, of course, the Father, the God of Jesus. Yet you could not answer this, because you know that if you said “the Father”, your doctrine of the trinity cannot be true. The ‘Most High God’ means there is no co-equality, and that He is One. Deep down, you know this. Instead of answering my question, you furnish me with details of His nature, not who He is. This tells me that you do not know who God is, or His name. This is what the Roman Catholic doctrine of the trinity aims to achieve- a misunderstanding of the Most High God and who He is. Why do you think the RC church recently advocated removing the name of Yahweh?

You then accuse me of blasphemy, for repeating what Jesus himself commanded us to do, as I had pointed out earlier:

John 5:23

That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

Jesus said exactly what I said. Are you accusing Jesus of blasphemy as well?

Please explain. If this is what you believe then you will not inherit eternal life.

Incredulously, you go on to say:

“…if the Father and the Son are indeed two completely separate beings, then it is unthinkable to “call the Son a God, and to also honour him as the Father, the true God, is honoured” (as you stated in one of your previous emails)…”

I say: yet in your own doctrine of the trinity you tell me that the Son is 100% God and that he is distinct!!

Would you care to explain?

You said: “The Most High God does not share His glory with any other (Isa 48:11), unless that ‘other’ is also the Most High God.”

I say: So now you are saying that there are TWO Most High Gods?? This is ridiculous- and also blasphemy.

Where does it say that in the Bible?

Regarding Isaiah 48:11, you have taken it out of context.

11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

let’s look at the context:

Isaiah 48
3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.

4 Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

5 I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them….

9 For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off…..
11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

This is a confirmation of Isaiah 42:8:
8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

It is clear here that the Most High God is talking about IDOLS, not His Son and the children of God. Remember, the Most High anointed His Son with the Holy Spirit.

John 17:22
22 And the GLORY WHICH THOU GAVEST ME I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

Romans 8:14:17

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the SONS of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also GLORIFIED together.

Also:

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the GLORY which I had WITH thee before the world was.

So we see that God does give and does share his glory with His sons. Or do you wish to deny scripture? Please explain.

Do you understand now?

You said: “To call anyone ‘God’, and to honour anyone as we honour the Most High God, is actually blasphemy – unless again that other being is also the Most High God.”

I say: I did not say ‘anyone’, I said ‘Jesus’, as he commanded. John 5:23

As for explaining what I mean by a god/God, I have done so now several times and provided the scripture references, see also Romans 8:14-17 again, above. Please read through all the scripture references again. Denying them is to deny the prophets, the apostles and Christ.

You said:”But the Most High God makes it very clear that we shall have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7), and thus you again seem to be advocating a position that is clearly incorrect (and even blasphemous)”

I say: My stance is totally biblical and I explained what I mean very clearly in my last mail, please read it again.

Arvind, so far, all I have gleaned from your replies is that you do not know who the Most High God is. When you accept what Jesus says in the Bible we will be able to make progress. Until then, you are in the dark. I hope and pray that you will come to the light and truth. Your doctrine is false, look at it again.