Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Discussions surrounding the various other faiths who deviate from mainstream Christian doctrine such as LDS and the Jehovah's Witnesses.
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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby Philip » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:43 am

the Trinity doctrine is a tough one to understand and, to be honest, very few people DO understand it


Quite agree with the above, Paul!

I was in a small group with a pastor of a church I once attended - good church, classical Biblical doctrine - and he said, "If anyone tells you they truly understand the Trinity, they're lying!" He understood and agreed with its Biblical basis, but not so much from his mortal, human standpoint. And as God has forever fellowshiped within His Trinity of love, and as He has NO actual needs that aren't met within It, sometimes it makes one wonder why He made us, ESPESCIALLY knowing what the cost of that would, one day, be.

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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:58 am

Philip wrote:
the Trinity doctrine is a tough one to understand and, to be honest, very few people DO understand it


Quite agree with the above, Paul!

I was in a small group with a pastor of a church I once attended - good church, classical Biblical doctrine - and he said, "If anyone tells you they truly understand the Trinity, they're lying!" He understood and agreed with its Biblical basis, but not so much from his mortal, human standpoint. And as God has forever fellowshiped within His Trinity of love, and as He has NO actual needs that aren't met within It, sometimes it makes one wonder why He made us, ESPESCIALLY knowing what the cost of that would, one day, be.

Actually, the Trinity is the answer to your question:
God is an "other-centered" being, a being of pure love, love that is focused on others and as such, His creative process of the Universe was an expression of that other-centered love.
See, IF God is NOT a "more-than-one" being then His love is self-centered and since self-centered love is inferiour to other-centered love, He would not be God.
For God to be GOD, He must be other-centered and, biblically speaking, the only type of other-centered being that is compatible is a Triune God.

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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby B. W. » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:34 pm

Philip wrote:
the Trinity doctrine is a tough one to understand and, to be honest, very few people DO understand it


Quite agree with the above, Paul!

I was in a small group with a pastor of a church I once attended - good church, classical Biblical doctrine - and he said, "If anyone tells you they truly understand the Trinity, they're lying!" He understood and agreed with its Biblical basis, but not so much from his mortal, human standpoint. And as God has forever fellowshiped within His Trinity of love, and as He has NO actual needs that aren't met within It, sometimes it makes one wonder why He made us, ESPESCIALLY knowing what the cost of that would, one day, be.


This is fully in line with the bible revealing that God is incomprehensible; so therefore, God's oneness is incomprehensible and thus there is none like him!
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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby melanie » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:24 pm

Philip wrote:So, Melanie, what you apparently believe is that it is unnecessary to believe that Jesus is God in order to be saved. Do YOU not also believe Jesus is God? Remember, those of Jesus day claimed to believe in the Father while not accepting Jesus as God - which He very clearly claimed to be. In fact, THAT is the very reason they wanted to kill him. Why do you think those in various cults are not considered Christians, as many of them believe in a Jesus who they do not also consider to be God? And this "doctrine" you claim to be only of man is taught by Scripture itself.

Scriptures directly showing Jesus to be God:


"For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

"I and the Father are One.” (John 10:30)

"He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'" (John 14:10-11)

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." (Philippians 2:5-7)

"... looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:14)

"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory." (Timothy 3:16)

"To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of [b]our God and Savior
Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:1)

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58) (And so immediately understanding He was claiming to be God) "So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple." (John 8:59) And, so just exactly Who is and what did Jesus mean by calling Himself "I Am?" They very clearly understood what Jesus was claiming (thus their response): "God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

If it is God Who enables one to come to belief (and He does so for all Whom sincerely desire to and are so Willing to respond to His prompting), do you really think He would not also have them understand clearly that Jesus is also God?

So, the teaching that Jesus is clearly God is SCRIPTURAL; it's not simply man-made doctrine. And so my question is, what distinguishes those in cults who reject Jesus as God from Christians, if not their failure to embrace Jesus as God? Do you really think one can deny Jesus to be God and truly be a Christian? Scriptures please - not just opinion.


I don't know what lies within a persons heart Phillip, only God knows. What is a 'true' Christian, well I don't think anyone of us can determine that indefinitely from an individual standpoint but God can. Going by what scripture tells us, evidence of a 'true' Christian and one that doesn't profess it with the mouth but with the heart is someone that bears fruit. If the HS is working within a person then there is evidence through what we know the fruits of the HS to be, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. The bible tells me that is the way to distinguish who has Christ in their hearts. Do I think good people have been led astray by unsound doctrine and charismatic leaders, absolutely, do I think every single one of these peoples fate is hell? Because let's face it that is what we are saving by not 'saved' we are damning people to hell. No I don't think they are. But I do not know. And it is not my job or my place to make such assumptions. But we are not speaking about cults really though are we, the lady you reffered to I would imagine you would have mentioned if she was in a cult. So I can assume she is not. She just hasn't in her walk got to the place of recognising Jesus as God, but she has accepted Him as her personal saviour. Obviously acknowledging The Father, The Son and his redemptive work on he cross. Theologians have argued about the true nature of God since Christ was here, this is testament to the ridiculous amount of denominations around with slightly differing beliefs. The Catholic Church had a go and came up with the trinity doctrine, but I have dozens and dozens of quotes of not only the men who penned this doctrine but hundreds of theologians in centuries past who have stated that it is still 'impossible' to understand or still a 'confusion''. But you see God doesn't require we be the best theologian, interpreter of scripture He requires our Love and Faith.
The Catholic Church has some of the most unsound doctrine around. Catholicism deviates from the bible on some very important issues, I'm not going to go into it, that is not the point I'm trying to make, but we have a church, with millions of followers that are worshipping idols, and most importantly seeking men for the forgiveness of sins, this is a very very grave error. But some of the most loving and faithful christians I have met in my life are Catholics. They love God dearly, they have just succumbed to tradition and their parents were Catholics, grandparents, great grandparents ect. So where do we draw the line. You have the Catholic Church who has by their own admission in print said that you must believe in the Trinity to be a true christians, and if you deny it your are a heretic, So the Catholic Church can condemn so many to hell, but yet be falling so terribly short in their other 'doctrines' making a mockery of Christ by having mere men, thinking they have the authority to forgive sins.
Thank-goodness God knows how prone to mistakes we are. We can never fully get our head around the nature of God, but you see we don't have too. Not once, never did Jesus or any of the apostles say " you must understand God fully to be 'saved' or even you must understand Jesus to be God in order to be saved. Jesus was asked "what must we do." The apostles were asked "what must we do?" Now in understanding how much God loves us, and how immensely He wants every single one of us to be with Him in His kingdom, he would NEVER let our salvation be a mystery or hard to define or difficult to work out.
He told us exactly and clearly in scripture what we must do, with no confusion. The bible is where all our answers lay.

Acts 16:31 "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."
Romans 10:9 "If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
John 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Romans 10:13 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Luke 10:27 And he answered, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." 28And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE."…

Love and faith. Confessing with our mouths "I need you Jesus". Knowing that He sacrificed Himself so that we may live and placing our trust in that. We must 'believe' in Jesus, that He died and was risen again for us, so we can despite our failings inherit eternal life.
There were times in my life when I was younger that I didn't recognise Jesus as God, but it was a very fine line. I loved God the Father, and Jesus. I knew Jesus was the son of God, ruling with Him at His right side. I knew the sacrifice Jesus had made so that I might be 'saved' and I loved Him dearly for loving me so much to do so. I loved and I had Faith. Not faith in Jesus as a prophet, not faith in some false Christ. Faith and love in Jesus, the son of God. The right Jesus. With the right faith in His work on the cross and the right love in my heart and spirit. Just not complete understanding.
I still believe this, but my understanding has matured. There was a time when I believed Jesus was God, but I couldn't articulate why, I didn't really understand, but through growth I now do. Yes of course over time The Holy Spirit works within us and brings us to truth, but everyone's walk is different, at different paces with different levels of understanding and acceptance. Some people have a very simplistic faith, others more complex. As long as they love God and know the work Jesus did on the cross, I think they're doing okay. That doesn't mean we can't share the knowledge God has blessed us with, bringing others into wisdom but with humility and understanding. When you start trying to share with 'other' christians because you think in self righteousness they are going to 'hell" there is one thing and one thing only you will be met with and that is resistance. You better heed what I say otherwise I hope you like it hot, real hot! Is not helpful, is not loving and places us in perhaps a much more precarious position that the person we are preaching too. Leave the damning to hell to Our Almighty wise Father, and just say 'hey, have you ever tried looking at this way?' Here's some scripture that helped me, maybe it will help you".
Nobody has the right to assume who is and isn't saved. We are all just stumbling along.
Last edited by melanie on Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby melanie » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:42 pm

RickD wrote:Melanie,

I'm not quite sure why you're against the Trinity. Did you have some kind of experience with a cult or a group that believed in the trinity, but was aberrant in some other way?

The doctrine of the trinity, is simply the biblical doctrine that explains that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are God. I guess you could say the doctrine itself is man made, but the idea that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one God in three persons, isn't man made whatsoever. The doctrine of the trinity just explains God in a way we can try to understand.

Usually from my experience, those that don't believe in the trinity, have a problem with the deity of Christ. Is that where your issue lies? If so, we can help you work through this from scripture.


Rick, I have no problem with the deity of Christ. My issue is with any doctrine or church that produces it's beliefs and/or interpretations and claims that everyone MUST believe this to be 'saved'. The bible alone is the only authority on such matters and the Trinity Doctrine claims a Christian must believe this not for better understanding or a closer relationship with God but in order to escape Hell and that is in itself regardless if the doctrine is 'somewhat' right unbiblical.

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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby RickD » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:01 am

Melanie wrote:
Rick, I have no problem with the deity of Christ. My issue is with any doctrine or church that produces it's beliefs and/or interpretations and claims that everyone MUST believe this to be 'saved'. The bible alone is the only authority on such matters and the Trinity Doctrine claims a Christian must believe this not for better understanding or a closer relationship with God but in order to escape Hell and that is in itself regardless if the doctrine is 'somewhat' right unbiblical.


Ok. I think I understand what you're saying. You're saying that you're against a church or group that makes up a doctrine, and then says that one must believe in that doctrine in order to be saved. And from your posts, I'm assuming that you think the Catholic Church invented the Doctrine of the Trinity. And you're against the trinity because of what you think the Catholic Church teaches about it.

Well, let me just say that there's nothing in the doctrine of the trinity itself, that says one must believe it in order to be saved. The doctrine is a way to try to help us understand the nature of God. That He is one God in three Persons.

So, your issue shouldn't be with the doctrine itself.

And I wouldn't say the doctrine of the trinity is biblical because the Catholic Church says it is. I would say the Catholic Church teaches the trinity because it is biblical.
1 Corinthians 1:9
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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby Philip » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:54 am

Certainly, ONCE INFORMED, anyone who CONTINUES to not believe Jesus is God - and certainly one who continues to DENY it - cannot and should not be asserted to be a Christian. Period! Now will they ONE DAY have such an understanding and thus be saved or are they not currently in the process that will result in their salvation - while that is very possible, it is (to US) YET unknown. Part of the reason is that God's Spirit will enlighten one to Who He truly is, at some point. Can we truly know if ANYONE is truly saved - well, we can't see their hearts and minds and can only go on what we can see. And so this is not for us to determine but is in God's hands. But we are to enlighten those whom we know to have false beliefs - ESPESCIALLY concerning Christ and their salvation. Some people don't like Christian teachings because they say they are too exclusive. And some of them are, yet Jesus is available to ALL people to either accept or reject. And God made that possible and gave us the choice and the free will to decide on our response.

Again, if we say those denying Jesus is not God, that He's ONLY the Son and Savior - and one assumes they are okay with God - well, if that is the case, I still don't see how we can say people in cults aren't saved, that they simply are not well informed or accepting of Who Jesus actually is. Otherwise, what makes a cult a cult as opposed to it being a community of Christians?

And as Rick says, just because a church teaches a doctrine - ANY church - as long as that doctrine is Scriptural, the FOCUS of one's questions should be to determine whether or not their teaching or doctrinal position actually IS Scriptural. Most denominations have some aspect of their doctrine that is somewhat suspect, as they are more derived from tradition. But those aspects of doctrine concerning salvation are absolutely Scriptural are absolutely critical.

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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby PaulSacramento » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:03 am

It is important to remember that no one knew/used the term "trinity" until after the Nicea council.
The understanding that Jesus was God was still debated by some ONLY because even then, people associated God with "The Father" and while some were "ok" with viewing Jesus as "a god", most understood that was unacceaptable. Jesus being God was clear to those that understood the term GOD to be not a PERSONAL name by a "statement of nature" BUT even today, for many, God = The Father so the notion of Jesus being God is hard for them to understand.

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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby Blessed » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:07 am

I am not qualified to comment but lean towards LDS position on this specific question.

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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:14 am

Blessed wrote:I am not qualified to comment but lean towards LDS position on this specific question.

So you disagree with what Paul wrote and that the Gospel of John says?

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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby Blessed » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:40 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Blessed wrote:I am not qualified to comment but lean towards LDS position on this specific question.

So you disagree with what Paul wrote and that the Gospel of John says?




No.

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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby Philip » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:52 pm

Why, Blessed?

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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby PaulSacramento » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:26 am

Blessed wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Blessed wrote:I am not qualified to comment but lean towards LDS position on this specific question.

So you disagree with what Paul wrote and that the Gospel of John says?




No.

But what Paul and John wrote is NOT what the LDS believe or preach.

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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby Blessed » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:58 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Blessed wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Blessed wrote:I am not qualified to comment but lean towards LDS position on this specific question.

So you disagree with what Paul wrote and that the Gospel of John says?




No.

But what Paul and John wrote is NOT what the LDS believe or preach.


They preach the trinity is three separate parts. Father, son, and Holy Ghost. I am unable to determine if these three parts are one God. However, throughout the Bible they are referred to in separate context. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

I am not an acclimated to Paul's writings or the book of John. I spend 90% of my time reading the Old Testament. I was raised a Christian. I was very lucky.

However, I get a feeling of concern when my relatives and other people say "Jesus IS God". There is only one God, who gave his son up to sacrifice on this earth as atonement for our sins. I also am concerned that by saying "Jesus IS God" I am forgetting about God, and breaking Gods law on idolatry, as provided to Moses and Noah (7 commandments of Noah), by forgetting God.

This is a difficult philosophical hang up which I hope to eventually resolve; yet am somehow comfortable with. I pray directly to God in Christ's name, perhaps as a "permission" of sorts.

I understand if this doesn't make much sense.

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Re: Accepted Jesus, But Doesn't Believe He's God

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:40 am

I guess the main issue is that they believe that Father, Son and HS are separate Gods and not One God that is 3 persons.


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