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dohzman
Member



Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re: Chiming in

Blake

It may seem like you're being attacked but that's because you can't hear voice inflections and see body language through this type of communication. Always keep that in mind, what I see is Bro. Ron pouring out a lifetimes worth of diligent study and prayerful thought on the subject matter.
We all at times have interpeted scripture according to personal experiences or revelations when in truth we should let scripture interpet these experiences we have. I use the plural possessive as I sometimes can be guilty of that too. What I see in your posts is a bit of confusion, almost like you've adopted alittle bit of several doctrines and have tried to make them fit into your experience. I would ask that you go to Bro. Ron's site and download the article in the Godhead and prayerfully read/study through it and see if there might not be something there for you.
On a personal note , this thread has been very very profitable to me and I have and probably will re- read it many times over the next several months. God Bless you all Bro. Daryl


_________________
D.Miller

 2005/11/10 19:17Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

I try to keep out of these things when they take this turn but I wanted just to say that although there is fundamental difference of opinion between my view and that of Blake, I have always sensed a tenderness of spirit in Blake, and am sorry when my expressions have caused him pain. I do think that Blake's personal pilgrimage has played a part in his current views on Trinity. He has retained the JW dislike for the word while rejecting their solution to the problem. In 'soccer' they have a phrase 'playing the ball not the man'. I always try to do this. It is Blake's ideas which I have opposed; not Blake himself.

I do, however, believe that our understanding of God is not an irrelevant side-issue but a vital factor in our personal walk and service for God. I am away for the weekend preaching in Nottingham UK but when I return I want to return to this site to show that the concept of Trinity is vital for a right understanding of substitutional atonement. These things are not peripheral.

My greetings to you, Blake.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/11/11 3:25Profile
beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re:

Dear all,

How can you not see accusing me of blasphemy, heresy, and idolatry, as an attack on me and my relationship with Christ? When Christ was being accused of blasphemy, did anyone say to Him, "try and keep in mind this isn't personal?" These are not small accusations being made. I would much rather you attack my character, because it says nothing of my belief. If you were to call me a fool or stupid or such, then I should not be offended. However, to accuse me of blasphemy and idoltary, not only attacks my person, but it attacks my faith. How can you not see that?

Quote:
He has retained the JW dislike for the word while rejecting their solution to the problem.



Here again, this statement offends me for He is spreading lies about me. I love Jesus and I love the scriptures. By what basis do you make such accusations against me? What have I said or done that makes you think I have "dislike for the word"?

And Robert, if the Trinity is "an essential doctrine that cannot be compromised", then I guess the majority of Christians are doomed, for there are many who have a distorted view of the trinity and many others who reject it.

What is most important is that we believe Jesus died for our sins and that He was resurrected. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) As Paul established in the scripture I shared, we should test to see if we know Christ personally, and if we do not, then we have failed the test. (2 Corinthians 13:5)

I did not lure anyone into this debate. When this debate started, I believed in the Trinity wholeheartedly. I was actually in a debate with someone else on another message board of which the Lord sent me, where I had defended the trinity. In fact, it was not until this thread that I began to notice the contradiction in the doctrine of the Trinity. After doing further research, it really began to bother me. For nearly two weeks, I struggled with this contradiction, and kept continually in prayer asking the Lord why He would not let me accept it. I tried to understand it from what Robert and Ron was saying. Finally, just the other day, the Lord settled the matter in my heart and I shared with you what the Lord had shared with me. In no way does it contradict with scripture, and I could easily defend every portion with scripture.

I choose not, because I have found it does not matter. People will believe what they want to believe, whether it is truth or not. We have free will. And if someone is truly Christian, then Christ will speak to them. Sometimes, however, people become so absorbed in thier own doctrines and ways, that they deny Christ. This does not mean they are not Christian, or any less of a Christian, but rather that they are human, and in need of Christ.

I too am no different. If I were to sit here and say that I am perfect and right, then I would be foolish, for no one except God is good. Christ in me is good, and Christ in me is righteous, however, I am still flesh and blood, and I suffer under it.

Therefore, while I know what Christ has said to me, and I stand by it, I do not expect it will be recieved well or easily. If you do not agree with me, then I leave it in the hands of Christ. You belong to Him, not me.

Dear Mike,

Quote:
"The true Son of God is Jesus Christ Himself, not scriptural revelation."

No Blake, you cannot have this dichotomy....
My brothers name is Ken. What do you know about him?



If you were to sit and write a long letter to me telling me all about your brother Ken, then all I would know of him is what you have told me in your letter. I would have to trust you about who your brother is. However, if I were to meet your brother in person, then I would not have to trust you. I would know your brother myself. This does not make your letter false or your testimony invalid, but rather, it enriches the words of your letter, because I know them to be true by my own experience of them.

Likewise, Christ as described in the bible is one revelation. It is a true revelation of Christ, however, it is not Christ Himself. When Christ enters into the hearts of believers and lives inside of them, this is the true Christ. When this happens, the revelation of scripture is made true in the heart of the believer because they know it by experience. They know the person of Christ as He lives inside them in Spirit.

Some people cannot accept this truth, because to them Christ is a different person than the Holy Spirit, and therefore, Christ does not dwell in them, but rather it is the Holy Spirit. Even though scripture does make it clear that Christ lives in us. A person who does not believe in this truth is no less Christian than someone who does, as they believe in Christ.

Quote:
Do you fully realize that some here like Ron who has been at this for over 40 years in ministry just might have a bit of knowledge and a lot more experience than yourself?



Yes, and that is why I prayed over this matter consistently for many days and nights. I have a deep respect for Ron and have found many of his teachings very insightful. I have shared them with others. He has been blessed immensely by the Lord.

However, just because that is true, does not make him right about everything. If there is one truth I know, only God is right about everything. We all have free will and even though we are Christian, we still exercise this free will. That is why the Church right now is divided into so many factions. We are in deep need of Christ right now. We are in deep need of truth.

And just because I don't have the experience that Ron has, does not make me any less creditable. The same Spirit lives in all of us, does He not?

Christ is most able to use those who are most open to Him. Christ cannot mold someone who is refused to be molded. Someone who has become so grounded in doctrine, they have closed of thier ears and minds to any new revelation. We must always be receptive and flexible. We must always be humble.

Paul said to test all things. He did not say reject all things.

I am willing to accept that what I teach may be wrong. I am at the mercy of Christ. I desperately need His grace. I am also willing to keep my mind open to any possibility. All that is truly from God will pass the test. It will prove to be true.

Therefore, I am not worried or concerned if no one believes what I teach. If it is truly from Christ, then it will be proven true.

My prayer is that Christ will be with each and every person who reads through this topic, that He will lead them into truth, closer to Him, and that His name will be glorified. I pray the Lord will bless each of you with an open mind that listens to His voice as it speaks, and not suffer under your own interpretation or the interpretation of others. May the voice of Christ stand out, shout in your ears and sing in your hearts. And I pray for unity among all of us, that we may be in one agreement.

In the name of Christ, Amen.

In leave you all in peace and love,
Blake


_________________
Blake Kidney

 2005/11/11 9:36Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Blake,

Quote:


Quote:
He has retained the JW dislike for the word while rejecting their solution to the problem.

Here again, this statement offends me for He is spreading lies about me. I love Jesus and I love the scriptures. By what basis do you make such accusations against me? What have I said or done that makes you think I have "dislike for the word"?



This is not what Ron said. He did not say you disliked the 'word' (as in God's Holy scripture), but the word 'Trinity'. Here is the statement:


Quote:
I do think that Blake's personal pilgrimage has played a part in his current views on [u]Trinity[/u]. He has retained the JW dislike for the [u]word[/u] while rejecting their solution to the problem. In 'soccer' they have a phrase 'playing the ball not the man'. I always try to do this. It is Blake's ideas which I have opposed; not Blake himself.



I recall that in fact you did say that you did not like the Trinity and see no real contradiction between what you said and Ron's recollection of that. I concur with Ron's observation in this case.


Quote:
And Robert, if the Trinity is "an essential doctrine that cannot be compromised", then I guess the majority of Christians are doomed, for there are many who have a distorted view of the trinity and many others who reject it.



Orthodox Christians for centuries have believed the Trinity as an essential doctrine of the faith. Essentials would include inspiration of scripture, deity of Christ, Trinity, salvation by grace through faith, etc. We simply cannot compromise the essential doctrines.


Quote:
I am willing to accept that what I teach may be wrong.



I understand, but this is not one of those doctrines where we can afford to teach an untruth. We may mistakenly teach things that are non-essential and that would be one thing; but the Trinity is a fundamental doctrine that effects everything we believe.

Quote:
Some people cannot accept this truth, because to them Christ is a different person than the Holy Spirit, and therefore, Christ does not dwell in them, but rather it is the Holy Spirit. Even though scripture does make it clear that Christ lives in us. A person who does not believe in this truth is no less Christian than someone who does, as they believe in Christ.



I understand that Witness Lee's 'followers' held to a doctrine that was a bit unorthodox in that they asserted that the persons of the Godhead are distinct [u]and[/u] the same at the same time. They stated that they were different in persons and the same all at once. This is in addition to the Trinity, not a subtraction. They believed all of the tenants of the Trinitarian doctrine + they believed all the persons were also the same person. I know it's confusing, but thats what they believed. The same person and distinct persons at the same time. I cannot go with this, but I think its the closest similar doctrine to what I have heard you describe.

.


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2005/11/11 10:26Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Blake,

Still think you are taking this way too personal. The acknowledgements from both Dohzman and Ron I thought were beautiful this morning, I started and stopped in a response to them finding nothing further to add.

Quote:
Likewise, Christ as described in the bible is one revelation. It is a true revelation of Christ, however, it is not Christ Himself. When Christ enters into the hearts of believers and lives inside of them, this is the true Christ. When this happens, the revelation of scripture is made true in the heart of the believer because they know it by experience. They know the person of Christ as He lives inside them in Spirit.



Wonderful! Yes! And there is no contradiction between the two, this is very much the issue brother and I do believe that is what the attempt here is. The things that are bothersome are further back in these threads, the 'extra' 'revelations' if you will...

Quote:
Here again, this statement offends me for He is spreading lies about me. I love Jesus and I love the scriptures. By what basis do you make such accusations against me? What have I said or done that makes you think I have "dislike for the word"?



I do believe this refers back to the item regarding the use of "[b]a[/b] god" in John, not to scripture as a whole. But note what you stated there about being offended and...
Quote:
Therefore, I am not worried or concerned if no one believes what I teach. If it is truly from Christ, then it will be proven true.


Blake, this is not spreading lies about you it is an attempt to both try and understand what you are saying and see if it reflects the same revelation that has already been given in scripture. I don't want to put words in your mouth here, but if I am discerning this rightly the thing that keeps popping up is 'new revelation'. In the sense of it springing new to our understanding, a 'revealing of what is already there but perhaps gone unnoticed ... the surprise of "Ah, I never noticed that before, I never understood it, I see!" Most certainly, but as something 'new' as in 'apart' from... There is nothing new under the sun brother nor is there any need for further revelation that is 'new'.

"It is finished" carries all the weight of what is necessary.

Am short on time here but have been giving this whole matter much thought over the preceding days, trying to understand where you are coming from and as is the norm, re-asssesing my own thoughts. What keeps coming back to the surface is how much a departure from holding to scripture is evident in our day. The cults are notorious for this, elevating felt experience, emotional extractions, matters of the mind into or above what has been written. This is not in a condenming nor accusatory tone towards you Blake but just in general, why the ... "pulling away" from what we have, scripture, Gods Word, the final authority. If it is not a complete and 'closed' revelation, where pray tell does it end? How many volumes would there now be if we were to believe all the human ideas that have gone on since apostolic days?

Brother here's the thing that I have found thus far; There is a great deal of mis-information that can be generated in my own mind, it is part and parcel of this fallen condition. There must be something to measure it all against. A great deal of things that I thought to be "of the Lord" I have found to be false and therefore rejected. What is striking is in much of modern day prophecy for instance is how adamant some can be in making statements that they are fully convinced are 'from the Lord' yet can be quite contrary to scripture, but it seems to matter little to them, "The Lord told me and I don't care what anyone says", well I can say, they truly do not understand the self deception we are capable of and so ... "Back to the Bible". It is not to be dogmatic about anything other than holding to what is fixed, unmoveable and unchanging. These are not secondary issues that can be a challenge for us to grapple with but essential core ... mandates that cannot be dislodged. It is not matter of interpretation or opinion, it's humbling ourselves to let go of [i]whatever[/i] we might 'think' and accepting what has been [b]said[/b].

"It [u]is[/u] [b]written[/b]". Recall how often Jesus Himself appealed to this.

Keep with us here brother, we are in this together, not apart from each other.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2005/11/11 11:09Profile
beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re:

Dear Robert,

Quote:
This is not what Ron said. He did not say you disliked the 'word' (as in God's Holy scripture), but the word 'Trinity'. Here is the statement:



My mistake. Even still, I find no error in the word "Trinity." I find error in saying God is "three persons."

Thanks for pointing that out.

I am not against Ron, and I don't think Ron is against me. However, I do find it a bit troubling and difficult to have a conversation with someone who promptly accuses me of "blasphemy", "heresy", and "idoltary."

Blake


_________________
Blake Kidney

 2005/11/11 13:26Profile
Nasher
Member



Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK

 Re:

Quote:
I find error in saying God is "three persons."


Hi Blake, let me ask you a few simlpe questions to try and find out where you're coming from:

1. Do you believe God is one?

2. Do you believe God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?

3. If yes to the above question do you believe that the Father speaks to the Son, the Father speaks to the Holy Spirit, the Son speaks to the Holy Spirit, and vica-versa?

4. If yes to the above question do you believe that God is talking to "Himself" (i.e. like we would) or that God is talking to God?

5. Do you believe the Bible reveals that God is one and that God is also three in one?


_________________
Mark Nash

 2005/11/11 13:43Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Blake,

Quote:
I am not against Ron, and I don't think Ron is against me. However, I do find it a bit troubling and difficult to have a conversation with someone who promptly accuses me of "blasphemy", "heresy", and "idoltary."



I understand. Yet, from the vantage point of defense and those who may be listening in on this conversation, those beliefs have to be labeled juxtaposed against orthodox doctrine and when the comparison is made, it is the only real diagnosis that could be offered from the standpoint of Orthodox Christianity. It could have very well been me saying those doctrines were heresy, etc. It is not a personal attack, it is like Ron said- you have to play the ball not the man. And sometimes playing the ball gets someone incidentally hurt.

I believe we need to lighten up and continue this discussion because I really believe you want to know the Truth. I think you arrrived at your conclusion prematurely. We have not yet begun to discuss the whole of this topic. Would you be willing to hold off on a verdict on the Trinity until all the evidence is in? ;-)


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2005/11/11 13:47Profile
beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re:

Dear Nasher,

Is God one person or three? Let us review scripture and what it says about God as a person.

Hebrews 1:3 (KJ)
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

The above scripture says, "the express image of his person." This scripture implies that God is one person and Jesus is the expression of that person. It does not say Christ is the image of his person(s). Jesus is referred to as being the "image" of God.

In this scripture, the greek word for "person" is "Hupostasis" which means "that which has actual existence; a substance, real being."

The greek word for "image" is "Charakter" which means "or stamped on, an impression; the exact expression (the image) of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise reproduction in every respect, i.e facsimile."

By these two scriptures, we can see that Jesus is the real person of God. Which makes sense.

In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul says that Christ is "the exact likeness of God." In Colossians 1:15, Pauls says, "Christ is the visible image of the invisible God." Lastly, Christ says to Philip,

John 14:9 - (NLT)
Jesus replied, "Philip, don't you even yet know who I am, even after all the time I have been with you? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking to see him?

If Christ was a seperate person from the father, then He would not say this. This clearly indicates that Jesus Christ is the image of God. If you have seen Jesus, you have seen the father.

Obviously, by the questions you presented, you realize that there is a distinction between the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. They are one, but they are seperate enough to speak to each other. I gave my answer to describe how they are distinct. However, for this discussion, what we need to ask is this: does this distinction mean that God is three persons? In order for us to determine this distinction, we must first understand what is meant by the word person? What exactly are we saying when we say God is three persons?

I have gone through the different theological views on the word person as established in the Church through history. The main difference that has lead into much debate is that the word "person" can mean either "persona" or "individual."

Let's forget that and see what the bible says:

The only time in the old testament (at least in the King James) that God is referred to as being a person is in this scripture:

Job 13:8 (KJ)
Will ye accept his person? will ye contend for God?

The Hebrew word used here is "Paniym" which means "face." This suggests that the scripture here was speaking about God's character or nature.

It is no wonder the, that the New King James version translates this differently.

Job 13:8
Will you show partiality for Him? Will you contend for God?

Young's says it in a way that makes more sense:

Job 13:8 (YLT)
His face do ye accept, if for God ye strive?

The other instances of the word "person" is used to describe humans, and as such, uses the word "Nephesh" which means "soul" or "'iysh" which means "man" or "Dam" which means "blood" or "'adam" which means "mankind."

The point of this is to establish that the word "person" in the old testament is a reference to being a man. Which means, that the word person, in this application, means more than just character or 'nature', it implies individuality. One man's soul is individual from another man's soul. We all share the same blood of Adam, however, we are still individuals and seperate. We all share the nature of Adam, but we are still individual enough that God can save us personally.

Can we say this of God?

Let us move onto the new testament and the use of the word person.

In the King James version, it is used 11 times, and in the NASB it is used 27 times.

The NASB never uses the word "person" in reference to God. The KJ version uses it once, in Heb 1:3. However, I do think this scripture is interesing:

1 Thessalonians 2:17 (NASB)
But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short * while --in person, not in spirit --were all the more eager with great desire to see your face.

This scripture clearly makes a distinction between "person" and "spirit." And this distinction is important. What is establishes is that a person has a body. Paul says that he was taken away for a short time in person. This means his individual was taken away. However, he was still there in spirit.

The greek word used here is "Prosopon" which means "face." In the King James version, it has been translated as being "presence." This is a different greek word from the one used in Heb 1:3.

If the above is true, then we run into a dilemma. Only Christ is was human. Thus, only Christ could be considered a "person." In fact, Christ could be said to be "the express image of his person." I suppose you could say that Christ is God's face. (**edit: I am not saying that Christ is God's face, but one could surmize this from the data.)

Obviously, what all this shows is that calling God a "person" is not entirely biblical. There are only two scriptures where God is referenced as being a person, and those two are in the King James version of the bible, but not the NASB.

So, what does this mean?

Calling God three seperate persons is based upon an interpretation of the bible by the early Church. Theological arguments in the early part of the Church arose over the use of this word "person" and what it means. If you would like to read up on this history, the Catholic Encyclopedia is a good place to start, for it tells of this history. The early Church was divided into "east" and "west" and they argued over the meaning of this one word "person." Some felt it meant that God is three "personas" or "modes." Others argued it meant that God is three "individuals." Don't take my word for it though, read it for yourself: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15047a.htm

Many people put up the argument that God is three persons because the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit are personified. As you pointed out, the father spoke to the son, and the son spoke to the father. They have also been called "He" which is a character trait of a person.

I do recognize that a distinction exists between the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. This distinction is not fully understood and is a mystery. John tried to describe it by saying that Christ is the "Word" of God. The Spirit of God is called the "Holy Spirit." However, should we say this distinction is enough to warrant calling each a "person"?

The problem I see with saying that Jesus is one person, the father is one person, and the Holy Spirit is one person, is what this implies. It has no biblical basis, so what we have to consider is what these words mean to the world at large. What is the context of these words in society today? If we are going to go around and tell people that we believe in this doctrine, shouldn't we understand what we are telling people?

To say God is three persons is to divide Him into three individuals. I have explained this many times in other posts. If we look deeper into the meaning of the word "person", we discover that it is saying there are three Gods. These three heads form a "Godhead."

The NASB does not use the word "godhead" anywhere. The King James uses it 3 times. Each time a different Greek word is used, however, each denotes "divinity."

The trinity is a biblical doctrine in everything it says, accept for the part that says, "God is three persons." This is not biblical. And because of this one statement, much debate has occurred in the Church, many denominations have arisen, and much division in the Church has occurred.

Lastly, "person" is a word that describes humanity. We are people. Often times, we personify things in order to understand them. Obviously, a car is not a person, but we will personify it by calling it a "she." We personify, or humanize, things all the time, from animals to inanimate objects to God.

Jesus Christ is a person. He lived on earth as a man. However, can we say the same of the father, or the Holy Spirit?

All three are one. And thus, all three are one person, the person of Jesus Christ, who is the image of God.

In love,
Blake


_________________
Blake Kidney

 2005/11/11 15:23Profile
beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re:

Quote:
Would you be willing to hold off on a verdict on the Trinity until all the evidence is in?



Sorry, that last post was posted after I read yours. I will say nothing more.

Blake


_________________
Blake Kidney

 2005/11/11 15:26Profile





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