WHAT MANY BELIEVE
The Christian religion “in its three classic forms of Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism acknowledges one God in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. According to Christian theology, this acknowledgment is not a recognition of three gods but that these three persons are essentially one.”
THE TRUTH FROM THE BIBLE
Jesus, the Son of God, never claimed to be equal to or of the same substance as his Father. Rather, he said: “I am going my way to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am.” (John 14:28) He also told one of his followers: “I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.”
The holy spirit is not a person. Early Christians “became filled with holy spirit,” and Jehovah said: “I shall pour out some of my spirit upon every sort of flesh.” (Acts 2:1-4, 17) The holy spirit is not part of a Trinity. It is God’s active force.
WHY IT MATTERS
The Trinity, explain Catholic scholars Karl Rahner and Herbert Vorgrimler, “could not be known without revelation, and even after revelation cannot become wholly intelligible.” Can you really love someone who is impossible to know or understand? The doctrine of the Trinity, therefore, is a barrier to knowing and loving God.
Marco, quoted in an earlier article, saw the Trinity as a barrier. “I thought God was hiding his identity from me,” he says, “and that just made him even more distant, mysterious, and unapproachable.” However, “God is not a God of confusion.” (1 Corinthians 14:33, American Standard Version) He has not hidden his identity from us. He wants us to know him. Jesus said: “We worship what we know.”
“When I learned that God is not part of a Trinity,” says Marco, “I was finally able to establish a personal relationship with him.” If we view Jehovah as a distinct Person rather than a mysterious stranger, it is far easier to love him. “He that does not love has not come to know God,” says the Bible, “because God is love.”