An individual sent me copies of “paintings” of what some believe their form of Deity to look like. Using these pictures as ‘proof’ of their full concept of God – this individual demeaned and put down their creators as being Unintelligible and ridiculous….
It appears that you have given this matter a lot of thought and deliberation. You have done some research and have drawn some conclusions that I have come to as well. Not all of them are similar but many are, and that is most intriguing!
First and foremost – I do not believe that any religion will save you! NONE! The only one who can save you is Jesus Christ. He alone has the power to do this. No one else, and nothing else will, nor can they.
While philosophical and theological discussions are powerful and inspiring in many ways, they cannot
take the place of the truth. And what or whom is the truth? Jesus is the “way, the TRUTH, and the life…”
(John 14:6). You have made many valid points about Christian churches, the ‘Trinity’ concept, the
Nicene Creed. You are incorrect with your statement of – “All religious organizations from the year 325
thereafter to this day (except one) has added to, or taken from the Nicene Creed, to create their own
version of their particular (Chief Articles of Christian Belief) or creed.”
Unless you have looked at every single one, the inclusion of every religious organization –when you use the word ‘all’ – cannot be considered valid.
Have you set your very own eyes on each of them? Read them line for line? Conversed with the creators or members of each? Can you even name them all? If not, then that statement is not and cannot be correct.
There is a funny thing about art though – paintings, drawn murals, anything put together by person or persons – only shows the artist’s understanding, perception, and thus are NOT proof of any kind. Personally I like to think of things in a more intimate and personal manner. My artistic expression of choice is ‘creative vocabulary’ and I am a vocabulist with my own erudite answers to such criticisms and complaints. I understand that not all choose my methods, and that is okay. Just because I put words on a page, and someone likes them and makes a billion copies and hands them out to everyone they can – does NOT prove that I am right, nor does it prove I am wrong. It is about content and context. Without either, nothing truthful can be maintained, let alone established.
While I do not believe that there are any pictures, drawings, or forms of artistic expression that will give anyone a ‘perfect’ understanding of God – I am actually offended that you call someone else’s concept “Incomprehensible and Unintelligible.” Wow, that is an incredible statement. How harsh and cold it seems to me. I do not agree with you on many things, but I would never hold something that you made up to an audience of people who were seeking in a similar fashion, and criticize it – especially by calling it something as ‘innocent’ as “Unintelligible.” Can you imagine how a person might feel seeing something they made, or something they hold very dear, being called – out right stupidity?!?!?! I know it happens, quite a bit, all over the planet in fact. (This is another point you do not have to agree with on.) But to me – that is very wrong. You and I both think we are right! I do not believe that thinking I am right allows me to poke fun at another person’s interpretation of Deity, especially on any kind of public forum. The fastest way to hurt someone is to call them stupid, or to say that they are unintelligible. Asking questions is great! But words are powerful, and because of that power … we (and I totally include myself here) often use our words to put others down, rather than to build them up. I hate it when I realize I have done this. I try very honestly to NOT do this on purpose. I am human, therefore flawed. I am working on it with God, like many of us are.
The word ‘Trinity’ is not found in the Bible. However, just because you do not agree, or understand it does not make it incorrect, or impossible to accept and understand. While I do not currently subscribe to the entire concept of ‘Trinity’ there are some who do. They love this idea and believe in it – as you do in your own concept of GodHood.
Using your resources I looked up ‘Trinity’ in the online Wikipedia. (Here is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity )
This is what it states: “The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (from Latin trinitas “triad”, from trinus “threefold”) defines God as three consubstantial persons,expressions, or hypostases: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit; “one God in three persons”. The three persons are distinct, yet are one “substance, essence or nature”. In this context, a “nature” is what one is, while a “person” is who one is”
You said in your paper that the concept or idea of the ‘Trinity’ is non-Biblical. Is it non-Biblical to you because you disregard the verses that this concept is derived from? Is it non-Biblical to you because you don’t want to think it might possibly hold some water? Or, is it because you cannot accept the idea that God could defy the laws of physics that He Himself created? If there is another reason for your idea it was not clearly stated. Just because something does not make sense to YOU, does not mean it cannot make sense to someone else. I am not saying that you have to believe it. I am not saying I completely agree with the entire ‘Trinitarian’ concept either. What I am saying is, that trying to understand, instead of pouncing on something that doesn’t make sense to you, with an open mind can take a person so much further than they would ever hope to get on their own.
Your use of terms (in bold) such as “Real God” and “What the Bible Really Says” seem arrogant and condescending. The whole world – according to you, for the past 2000 years with scholars, professors, archeologists, PhDs, and the many skilled yet unlearned who studied the Bible every day of their adult lives – has been and is still full of people that do not know the “Real God,” nor do they know “What” the Bible “Really Says?” How sad that perspective is to me. If that is the case, then why do you go to places like Wikipedia.com or Dictionary.com for any information about religion – specifically, when you already know God with an ‘absolute understanding?’ Perhaps you just want a general knowledge and not each leader’s ideas, huh? Neither site is run by a religion. You might think they are accurate and impartial but let me let you in on a little known secret. Wikipedia is submitted to by regular peeps like you and me. They seek clarification but accuracy is not their most pressing concern.
You used the following quote in your paper:
“If you don’t accept the trinity than you’re a cult!”
That is laughable at best. I am sure it has been said to you and I agree with you that it is seriously ridiculous, (I hope that is ‘their’ direct quote … the grammar is off which delights me lol). Does that quote sting you at all? Are you offended at the idea of someone saying that you are in a cult? Then if any part of that is yes, you can see how words can hurt from that simple incorrect and insensitive statement.
Page three second paragraph – ….. There is so much that is incorrect about that one paragraph. I almost do not know where to begin. First of all, the ALL Christian churches part is ABSOLUTELY incorrect. Furthermore, the “all Baptist churches” statement is also FUNDEMENTALLY in error.
Have you attended one lately? Have you attended any ever? I do not claim to belong to any religion, but when I do go to church, I often attend a Baptist sect. There are ZERO pictures of Deity to be found there. Absolutely NONE! We sing of God. We talk of God. We read from the Word of God. We do not hang pictures. Nor do we have any graven images of what we believe God looks like. One person’s idea of God, accepted by some and mass produced does NOT make it any more valid than the supposed proof of other’s ideas presented in your paper. Taking a gander online about one thing or another can give you some kind of idea about it but blatant cavalier generalizations about things you have not experienced is not only hurtful and incredibly insensitive, it is in NO way appealing and has great dearth of the ‘logical’ conclusions that are drawn up in this paper.
Top of page five – …………. Great question! Quite forcefully built but also deceptive at the same time. You appear to be asking a question that is sincerely inquisitive. In the same breath you put ‘claim,’ ‘belief,’ ‘disbelief,’ ‘accepted world-wide Christian pictures,’ ‘harmony,’ and causing further conflict you create a sameness between the words ‘faith’ and ‘religion.’ What? You might as well say this – so you go to church but you don’t believe what they teach, even though they have pictures!?!
Pictures are not proof!
Going to church, no matter what church it is, does not depict who you are. It is not usually all that you think. Going to church cannot save you and protect you! You are NOT the church you belong to. Your faith is based on you and your longing for and maintenance of a Godly relationship, PERIOD.
I love that people use their artistic talents to show people the love of God that they feel. While I love that they use these talents to express their extreme passion and faith, it still does not prove that what their perception is in fact – fact. It is merely an outward expression of their inward beliefs. Faith does not always make complete logical sense. Faith is fuzzy sometimes and can prompt you to ask questions. Religion dictates what you should and should not do. God loves us all. God wants a relationship with each one of us. Religion will tell you what you must do. God is always there. He will help you, but will not force you to do everything. Faith and Religion are NOT the same. They NEVER have been. They NEVER will be.
Now to your religion: The one you have “found” that makes you happy. I appreciate your stand point that your church declares the Father and Son to be separate and distinct. The LDS church does believe that, and can cherry pick versus in the Bible that can seem to confirm that point of view. Remember – “We believe the Bible to be the word of God – as far as it is translated correctly… (Articles of Faith #8)?” From that idea come many that follow creating a discord between people and God’s Word. I am not saying that your religion is alone in this type of Tyrannical idea that only OUR ideas are correct about ‘whatever’ because it seems that many many are.
You want to talk about God in completeness, which I celebrate and applaud. However, you also say you know with an “absolute understanding” who Heavenly Father really is. I tell you with my own personal experience (I understand my opinion contradicts your own), you do NOT have an absolute understanding. You have not seen God with your own eyes. You have not touched Him, to know whether he has a hand or not. You were not present when the world was created, at least you do not recall it. Having an ‘absolute understanding’ implies that you know everything there is to know about whatever it is you are talking about. Admittedly I don’t have that about God; heck, I don’t even have that about myself! And I don’t know anyone who does. God is mysterious. Right? That is Biblical. We can know things. This is true! However, absolute understanding belongs to God.
Just because a person says, “I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer…” – does not make it truth. I am not saying it is or isn’t, just so you know. Many have told me that this very account was very acclaimed and wide spread. Bruce McConkie was claiming to have seen Jesus Christ and to know Him. You believe it. I know because you have told me so. Grandma W… has this quote on her kitchen wall. She has for as far back as I can remember it. It is popular. It is compelling. It is one person’s account of their perceived understanding and interpersonal relationship with Deity. Anyone can tear it apart. Many people have. What good would that do me here and now? Who am I to tell you that what you are believing in is wrong anyhow?
How could I encourage any positive inspiration in you, if I curse, destroy, belittle and with no class but arrogance on my part, say something as simple as, this quote is “Incomprehensible…according to Dictionary.com: Impossible to understand or comprehend: Unintelligible.” And, of course, the quote is “Non-Biblical.” If I believe that, it is one thing. If I were to say the above and not think about how you would feel about those ‘innocent’ words, especially knowing that you value and treasure Mr. McConkie’s words – what good would come from that? Would you be more wounded? Would Grandma be wounded? Yes, I believe you both would.
You say that you want to know truth. You say that you also know everything there is to know about God. If you think that you know all there is to know about God, than you don’t have anything else to learn about God. Is that what you intended the paper to say?
I get that you want to share your faith! I am so happy that you are being bold about it. I am very proud of you in that respect. Still, if you already have all you need, and that is how it sounds from your paper, then the document is not only extremely cavalier but also heartbreaking.
Pictures are not proof. I think I have made that pretty clear.
The Nicene Creed – to me – seems another plot for people of a “controlling mind set” (religion) to manipulate and control others relationships with Deity. Jesus said, “Come, follow me.” He did not say, make rules for others to follow! Having Godly morals and doing ‘good’ to mankind is what He did. Therefore, I will do my best to do that as well. I cannot be perfect, and neither can you or anyone else in this life be perfect.
Your ideas, while rough and assuming are also fruitful and thought out in some respects. I encourage you to keep studying. Do not limit your focus to only ONE set of resources, if you can. You have a world-wide network at your fingertips. All you have to do is reach out. God is there. God is here. God is everywhere. I am both inspired and confused with your paper. I hope you will continue to search, learn, and grow.
I love you. Honestly, I am pretty damn sure that I get a lot of my questionings and ways of thinking from my observance of you. You like to take a concept and break it down to its smallest components and then see if you can put it back together. I love to do that myself! You use facts and emotionalism to create the world around you. The world does function in this manner but with a stronger embellishment on the latter expression. I do hold emotions in high esteem. With that said however, I cannot put emotions above fact. I use the emotions that possess me in a sometimes counterproductive way. Unfortunately, I have used raw emotion to lead me into things that were not worthy of my time. If emotion, and emotion alone, could lead us to absolute authenticity – then what of learning, seeking answers, and why all the questions that emotions cannot address?
I am also going to continue to search, learn and grow.
Just one more thought. If a person came to you and said they had all kinds of knowledge; then they began to spin a web of ‘extraordinary’ understandings that fascinated you and made you FEEL good; would you believe them? Why, or why not?