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Monotheism

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by baller91, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. baller91

    baller91 New Member

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    Christianity adopted from Judaism a belief in the existence of a single God (YHWH) who created the universe and has divine power over it.[1] The understanding of God is modified and expanded in the light of other Christian beliefs about the divinity of Christ and the nature of God as a Holy Trinity,[8] which in brief considers that the three persons of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) together form a single substance of God. Due to this some consider the Christian definition of monotheism to be unique[9] and believe some attempts at understanding the nature of God and the interrelationship of his attributes have led Christians towards implicit polytheism.[10] Christians explicitly deny holding such a view of God and consider monotheism a central tenet of Christianity. [11] All Christian creeds affirm that there is only one God (e.g., Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, and Chalcedonian Creed).
     
  2. Love123

    Love123 New Member

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    THE TRINITY.............THE THREE IN ONE............THE FATHER THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE = ONE............THE CHRISTIANITY VIEW IS .......SALVATION. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.GOD BLESSLOVE123
     
  3. shnarkle

    shnarkle New Member

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    Abraham is basically the father figure of strict monotheism. A strict monotheist isn't going to do a whole lot of questioning when it comes to God's instructions. He may do some, but for the most part, he must acquiesce to God's commands. Everyone around is going to think they've lost their mind, and Abraham is a prime example of this. He tells his family that they're going to have to pull up stakes and leave home. Why, where are we going Abram? Abram doesn't know. Then he tells Sarai that even though neither one is even interested in having children anymore, they're going to have a son anyways. Then Abram is told to cut off the foreskin of his penis, which seems a bit counter intuitive given the previous newsflash. People usually just focus on the sacrifice of Isaac as the most glaring example, but this is almost anti climactic in comparison to what's already transpired. Abraham knows that the same God that has asked him to do all of these things is the same God who gave him these same feelings of revulsion to do them in the first place so he really can't do much of anything but exactly what God is telling him to do. Abraham's God is beyond all of this; Abraham's God is transcendent.

    The New Testament breaks it down for us a bit, but we're still dealing with one God; he's just a bit more approachable now. We can put a face on him; a face to go with the name. The only problem is that the local monotheists don't understand how someone can presume to tell them that they don't know God. Jesus tells them, "I came to reveal the Father", followed by, "If you have seen the Son, you have seen the Father". So while those who choose to reject the doctrine of the trinity aren't necessarily going to hell for this misunderstanding, they're going to have a tough time finding God without looking into Jesus' eyes.

    People who don't recognize Christ as the image of God, don't understand that a transcendent Father is completely inaccessible to anyone. For all practical purposes, the Father doesn't even exist. The Father is the source of existence, but doesn't exist in and of Himself; there is no "self" for the Father. The Father doesn't exist, but "begets" existence through the Son. The Son, in turn does exactly what he see's the Father doing, and creates the world. Given that God always existed, and the Son is manifest God, therefore the Son always existed. God's existence proceeds from transcendence which ironically enough, doesn't exist. The Son is the agent of creation, though he cannot be created himself, except in the incarnation as Christ Jesus. So, technically, while the Son has always existed; He didn't exist as Jesus until His incarnation.

    This is quite literally 'something from nothing', and we see this in creation as well. Creation is the physical manifestation of the transcendent Father's nothingness emptying into an immanent (but also empty) agent of creation which in turn empties Himself into His creation; and what do we see? A whole lotta empty space. Some may think that they see pantheism here, but even though the creation comes about through the emptying of the Creator, the Creator is not in His creation. However, he does enter into creation in a special way with humanity, and especially in Christ. Jesus then informs us of this whole process by pointing out that we also have to "deny yourselves" to join with Him. This denial is exemplified in the command to "love others as yourself", but ultimately there is no self; there is no "other" either. There is no "you" or "me" when the "self" is denied.

    So, the first thing that happens is that "you" love yourself in the "other", which eventually is seen as you, and ultimately is seen as Christ. At this point, the self is obliterated, and good riddance. Then there is only Christ. So, where are "we"? We're in Christ just as the Father is in Him and He is in the Father, and just as the Father see's us through the eyes of Christ, and we are able to see the Father through Christ; others see Christ through us, and we see Christ in others.
     
  4. Guestman

    Guestman Active Member

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    Did Christianity ' adopt from Judaism a belief in the existence of a single God ' or did true Christianity continue that which had long been established as truth, that God is one person, not "three persons in a Godhead" ? Upon being asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus responded: "The first is, ' Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah, and you must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength".(Mark 12:28-30)


    Jesus was quoting from Deuteronomy 6:4, 5, spoken by Moses to the nation of Israel some 40 years after the Israelites had been freed from Egyptian bondage in 1513 B.C.E. The Egyptians believed in a multitude of triad gods, such as Osiris, Isis, and Horus, a father-mother-son triad.


    Ancient Egypt was rife with polytheism, for every city and town had its own local deity, bearing the title "Lord of the City". In the tomb of Thutmose III was found a list of the names of some 740 gods. The Israelites needed to understand that God is "one Jehovah", not a triad, as well as one in purpose.


    Jesus, though, knew that true Christianity that he established would become corrupted after the death of his appointed apostles who acted as a "restraint" to the tide of apostasy that was already beginning while they were alive, showing this through the illustration of "the wheat and weeds" at Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.(see also 2 Thess 2:3-6 where the apostle Paul describes the coming apostasy before "the day of Jehovah" arrives)


    Among the falsehoods that this foretold apostasy began to promote is that God is a trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), three "persons" co-equal and co-eternal. It basically began with Tertullian (about 160-230 C.E.), who used the Latin word trinitas, proposing that God is "one substance consisting in three persons", though he said: "How can it be that anything, except the Father, should be older, and on this account indeed nobler, than the Son of God, the only-begotten and first-begotten Word ?"


    Later writers used his ideas to build toward the Trinity doctrine, instead of adhering to Scripture, such as Jesus words to his apostles that "the Father is greater than I am".(John 14:28) Or that of the Father saying at Jesus baptism: "This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved".(Matt 3:16)


    Sincere and serious Bible students can easily recognize that if the Father and Son were equal, the Father would not refer to Jesus as "my beloved, whom I have approved". Jesus would not need the Father's approval if he were God. Jesus would also not be called "my servant whom I (God) chose, my beloved, whom I have approved" at Matthew 12:18 and in which Matthew was quoting from Isaiah 42:1.


    Jesus succinctly describes who he is, saying: "For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life".(John 3:16) Jesus established that he was "begotten", created by "the Father".(see Rev 3:14 where Jesus calls himself "the beginning of the creation by God")


    And in using the wording of "only-begotten" showed that he is unique in being created directly by God, for these words are from the Greek monogenes that means "single of its kind, only".(Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, see also Luke 7:12 where monogenes [only-begotten] is used with regard to a widow who had only one son as well as at Judges 11:34 [in the Greek Septuagint] with regard to Jepthah's "one and only child")


    After the death of the apostles who acted as a restraint from apostasy (2 Thess 2:6), a plethora of false religious ideas were accepted within what later came to be called Christendom, such as the trinity, which elevates Jesus to the status of God as well as the holy spirit, which is not a person but God's active force.(see Ps 104:29, 30 that shows that the word "spirit" (Hebrew ruach, "breath", KJV) is an invisible active force that when taken away, a person dies and that when God sends his spirit (Hebrew ruach) forth, "they are created", renewing the ground, hence being an invisible active force that produces visible results)
     
  5. chuatnhat

    chuatnhat New Member

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    amen.. :mellow:
     
  6. shnarkle

    shnarkle New Member

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    While this is quite persuasive, I still think John's gospel as well as Paul's version of the Shema seem to indicate something more than something less than God. The "word" wasn't created. The word "was" in the beginning.

    I just noticed something else recently. When someone looks at you, what do they see? Do they see you, or do they see an image of you? Is what they see actually you? What I mean by this, is what is it about you that makes you who you are? Is it your body, your thoughts, emotions, feelings, or is it something else? I'm drawing a comparison between what we see when we look at someone, and what we see when we look at Christ. Christ said that to see him was to see the Father. So it stands to reason that when someone looks at you, they are looking at something less than you. They aren't really looking at you; just an image of you. Right?
     
  7. Guestman

    Guestman Active Member

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    Most of those professing Christianity accept that Jesus Christ is "the Word" (John 1:1) that "became flesh and resided among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory that belongs to an only-begotten son from a father; and he was full of divine favor and truth".(John 1:14)

    However, many of these ones, because of the inaccurate rendering of John 1:1 by many Bibles are induced to believe that Jesus is God without carefully examining the Bible.(Note: Chester Beatty Manuscript 813, located in Dublin Ireland, written in Sahidic Coptic, a language Koine Greek was translated into not long after Jesus death reads of John 1:1: "In the beginning existed the Word and the Word existed with the God and a god was the Word")

    If Jesus is God, would John have written that he is "full of divine favor", or has God's favor ?(see Heb 5:7 in which the apostle Paul says that Jesus "offered up supplications and also petitions, with strong outcries and tears, to the One (Jehovah God) who was able to save him out of death, and he was favorably heard for his godly fear" and also Luke 2:52 that says that from 12 years old, "Jesus went on progressing in wisdom and in physical growth and in favor with God and men")

    John makes sure of the separation between Jesus ' becoming flesh and residing among us' and God by saying: "No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is at the Father's side is the one who has explained him".(John 1:18; see also 1 John 4:12)

    John helps us to understand a Bible truth, that Jesus is subservient to the Father as an "only-begotten god" and "only begotten son", explaining the Father, Jehovah God (through his conduct and illustrations), and because he mirrored the Father so closely in hating wickedness and loving righteousness that he could say that "whoever has seen me has seen the Father also".(John 14:9; see also Heb 1:9 whereby Paul says of Jesus that "you loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. That is why God, your God, anointed you with the oil of exultation more than your companions")
     
  8. shnarkle

    shnarkle New Member

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    I'm not making this claim or belief. I can plainly see that the Word emptied himself of his divinity and took on the form of sinful flesh, i.e. he became a human being. He still retained his relationship as Son to the Father.

    There is no "only-begotten god" in the manuscripts. John is explaining the reality, the revelation of God which happens not only in the incarnation of Christ, but through the Creator Himself; the two are essentially synonymous though effectively different. Distinctions do not necessarily convey separation; especially when dealing with a monotheistic deity. Again, Paul is clearly stating the Shema includes Christ as Lord.

    "there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him." 1.Cor.8:4-6

    Even among other Jewish writers we see evidence of Christ's role as the one and only lord.

    Zechariah 14:9:
    “The Lord, our God,” over us (the children of Israel); “the Lord is one,” over all the creatures of the world. “The Lord, our God,” in this world; “the Lord is one, “in the world to come. As it is said, “The Lord will be king over all the earth. In that day will the Lord be one and His name one.” (Sifre on Deut. 6:4, Commentary written c. 3rd century CE)

    The Lord who is our God now, but not (yet) the God of the (other) nations is destined to be the One Lord, as it is said… “And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; on that day shall the Lord be One and His name One.” (Rashi on Deut. 6:4, Commentary written in 11th century CE)


    No one, no matter how much they may want to argue; can get around the plain meaning of: "the Lord, our God"
     
  9. mjrhealth

    mjrhealth Well-Known Member

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    no arguemnts God is god and Jesus is teh Word of God who sits at the right hand of the father unless He has a spilt personality, even Jesus made the seperation for

    Joh 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

    Joh_13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

    Jesus only ever made the claim to be equall to God, that is a claim that many who are His will be able to make one day.
     
  10. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    Who acts as a "restraint from apostasy" AFTER the death of the Apostles?
     
  11. mjrhealth

    mjrhealth Well-Known Member

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    God!
     
  12. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    So God speaks to whom on earth to let them know that an apostasy has occurred?

    Apostasy defined: the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief
     
  13. mjrhealth

    mjrhealth Well-Known Member

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    Does He need to tell you, take a look at "all the religions of the world", are you so blind. Always perusing the carnal things of this world not the spiritual.

    Man seems to be better at being God than God.
     
  14. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    Yes, I am blind.

    Who does God speak to here on earth to let Christians know that an apostasy has occurred?
     
  15. mjrhealth

    mjrhealth Well-Known Member

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    You could read teh newspaers, go to your local library, local video shop so many documentaries on it all, really isnt that hard. Of course are you really sure you want an anserw .??
     
  16. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    i think you're s'posed to believe "the pope" there, mjr.
     
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