Archive for category Holy Trinity
1 .God is a perfect God.
2. He made the world and everything in it, including us.
3. But he made it imperfect.
4. But he still loves his creation.
5. God is also an angry God who is easily offended
6. From the beginning, we are all depraved and have offended God.
7. And though he loves us, God is also just and demands punishment for the wicked (which is all of us).
8. Since God is infinite then our offense against him is infinite (even though we are finite – don’t worry about the math) and we can never pay our way out of our predicament.
9. So we deserve God’s justice, which, unfortunately, is to send us to suffer in Hell for all eternity. Even babies. For our own good. Because he loves us. (It’s a mystery, don’t ask why. Who do you think you are, anyway? God?)
10. Because he loves us he must be fair to us. After all, he is just. Since we really chose Hell for our ultimate destination (always read the fine print) if he cut us any slack then he would not be respecting our choices. And what kind of love is that?
11. But God is also a sensitive God.
12. And God is Love. He told us so.
13. He doesn’t want to send any of us to hell – it saddens him. Especially the babies.
14. But our sin still requires some sort of sacrifice, preferably a blood sacrifice, to balance the books. Because God is really, really just. He demands perfect justice because he has no choice but to do so, even if he is omnipotent. He’s so perfect he just can’t look the other way. Some one has to pay the bill.
15. Except that, since we are imperfect, sacrificing our puny selves would be an imperfect sacrifice to a perfect God to pay off an infinite bill. You can see the problem there.
16. But he finds a loop hole in his own set of laws. ( He should’ve seen that coming.)
17. And decides to send Jesus, his only “Son”, to Earth as a man and have him die in order to pay the price for our sins. This is called Grace.
18. Since Jesus is without sin, only he can possibly be worthy of being sacrificed in our place. Since he’s perfect then his sacrifice was perfect and pleasing to God.
19. But…what kind of God would sacrifice his only Son? And be pleased by it? That’s not very nice. And not too just, either, since Jesus is innocent.
20. Ah ha! We forget that Jesus is also God! So in effect, when God sacrifices Jesus he also sacrifices himself. It’s like God picked up the tab himself. Which, you have to admit, is pretty nifty. Now that God/Jesus has paid the bill we don’t owe anything! This is called forgiveness.
21. But how can this be? How can Jesus and the Father both be God at the same time?
22. So somebody found out that God was Binitarian – one God who is also two persons. Tricky, but somewhat conceivable.
23. Except Jesus talked about God’s spirit like it was another person, not just a thing. (He does, doesn’t he?) And if Jesus is now God he must be omniscient so this “holy spirit” must be another person, too. But what kind of person?
24. So we added the Holy Spirit (Ghost) to the Holy Binity to create the Holy Trinity. More tricky and not so easily conceivable.
25. But God (or someone) said that everyone must believe that God consists of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit or they cannot follow Jesus. No exceptions. Everyone else can just go to Hell.
There, now. Simple. Anyone have any problems with that?
(Disclaimer: the thoughts expressed above are not the author’s but those of what many consider to be orthodox authority. If they had been real thoughts you would have been advised to seek shelter in the nearest basement and tune into your local Trinity Broadcasting Network for further instructions.)
From Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary:
- Main Entry: per·son
- Pronunciation: \ˈpər-sən\
- Function: noun
- Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French persone, from Latin persona actor’s mask, character in a play, person, probably from Etruscan phersu mask, from Greek prosōpa, plural of prosōpon face, mask
So, according to Merriam-Webster, the word person is derived from the Latin and Greek words for the masks that dramatic actors would hold before their faces in ancient theatrical plays. In a Greek play one actor might play many roles, each one signified by his persona, or mask, that he presented to the audience.
For me, this sheds some interesting light on the doctrine of the Trinity; the doctrine that says that there is only one God yet three persons. Rather than trying (yet again) to make sense of the various explanations for this doctrine, with all of its necessarily inadequate analogies (the three leafed clover, the three states of water, the three dimensions of material space etc) perhaps it would help to read the word ‘person’ in a way that is closer to its linguistic roots.
Instead of three divine “persons”, who are separate individuals yet in some way one deity, all sitting around in heaven (or a shack in the mountains) maybe each element of the trinity is more like a different mask God wears at different times in history or at different times in our lives.
Seen this way, perhaps the first mask God wears is the one that makes the most sense to our limited minds; the awesome and remote God of power, creation and destruction. The God we see throughout nature, in thunderstorms, earthquakes, mountains, sunsets and floods. A God who is mostly and deliberately remote, hiding behind the mask of Yahweh, knowing that a full revelation of his being would be too much for us.
Then Jesus comes and reveals a different face of God, a new persona. Through this revelation we are able to engage the previously unapproachable and remote God. When we consider this new persona, one that is a frail human like us, we find that he has become easier to relate to and understand; “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”. Engaging this new persona, in a way that is intimate, personal and honest, enables us to better comprehend God’s love for us. Through the exemplary sacrificial actions of this persona we begin to understand the Way of life God has always intended for us.
Once we encounter God through the persona of Jesus, and begin to follow the example he set for us, we are able to encounter the third divine persona. This is a spiritual one that is not a true persona at all, in that it is not one that God ‘wears’ for us, it is one that we wear for him, and for each other.
With his first persona God was wholly (holy?) other, necessarily apart from us, only revealed in small doses. In his second persona, that of Jesus, we find a way to interact with God personally, to accept his love for us and in response, love him back. Through this loving interaction we are able to realize the Spirit of God who dwells within us. At this point God hands us the mask and we should, in some limited and human way, take on the persona of God; one who loves all others.
If looked at in this way; that each “person” of the Trinity is more like a humanly finite understandable mask that God shows us at the appropriate time of his choosing, then why limit him to only three? Perhaps this is how God reveals himself to people throughout the world, through personas that are specifically designed to accomodate the differences between our diverse human cultures and traditions. I believe that many people of the world, even though they may not be Christian, are wearing personas created by the spirit of God living within them.