Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dismantling Trinitarianism

You foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified!
(Galatians 3:1, NET Bible)

One remarkable Trinitarian claim is that Jesus retained his human body that he sacrificed and took it with him past the earth's protective atmosphere and into outer space. This Trinitarian teaching is so remarkable that I personally have a hard time believing that it's even believed! One Trinitarian though wrote an explanation sustaining their remarkable claim.[1] So, yes, Trinitarians are required to believe that. Technically it's called "Chalcedonian Dyophysitism," from the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD that declared that Jesus is now "truly God and truly Man" with "a rational soul and body," and that Jesus' human nature is in heaven in hypostatic union with his divine nature. (Some modern Trinitarians though vocally dismiss Chalcedonian Dyophysitism in favor of Jesus being only divine and not human. As we shall see, these renegade Trintarians are closer to the truth.) Therefore, I will copy that orthodox Trinitarian explanation here verbatim and dissect it:
You are assuming that Jesus did not retain his human nature post-resurrection, because you have been taught that Jesus was re-created as a spirit creature three days following his death.
Response:
Jesus being resurrected or re-created as a spirit is not something we made up, but rather read in the Bible.
However, Christ was raised immortal in the very same human body in which he died. (Luke 24:37-39; Acts 2:31; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7)
Jesus said himself that "a spirit does not have flesh and bones and you see that I have." (Luke 24:39)
Response:
The account at Luke 24:37-39 does not necessarily support the argument since this actually is best understood as a materialization event. Thus, Jesus materialized from his divine spirit form into human form in the locked room. Acts 2:31 does not necessarily support the argument either, for all it says is that Jesus' flesh did not experience decay. Indeed, the next two verses say this is because God as a person resurrected the person Jesus and exalted him. Lastly, both 1 John 4:2 and 2 John 1:7 teach that Jesus was on earth as a human during his earthly ministry, as even the Trinitarian scholars of the NET Bible agree. (Disagreeing with John is a teaching of the antichrist.)
When Christ ascended into heaven, He ascended in the same physical human body, as witnessed by several of his disciples. (Acts 1:11)
Response:
He ascended alright, but verse 9 informs us that a cloud obscured him from view. Thus, it is obviously incorrect to say that Jesus was witnessed exiting earth's atmosphere in his human body. Additionally, none of these scriptures thus far even hints that Jesus appeared with the same body that he sacrificed. Indeed, to do so would show that Jesus did not really sacrifice anything.
As the Mediator between God and man, Christ is said to PRESENTLY POSSESS a human nature.
1 Tim. 2:5: For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the MAN Christ Jesus
Response:
Jesus is a man by experience. Therefore this scripture clearly cannot be used to prove that Jesus is now a human in outer space.
When Christ returns, he will return as the "Son of Man" -- a messianic title that points to his humanity.
Matt. 26:64: Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN."
Response:
Jesus is a man by experience, and the "son of man" designation derives from Daniel 7:13-14 of a transcendent and exalted figure being "like a son of man," indeed nothing about being a human in outer space.
Christ as a man (today and forever) is still in submission to the Father, and will always be so. Jesus Christ is functionally subordinate to the Father; however, "greater" does not have the same meaning as "better." He is equal to the Father in terms of his divine nature (Jesus is also THE Son of God).
Response:
As are all the angels (Job 38:7), yet they are not equal to the Father in terms of their divine nature. The reference to Hebrews 13:8 that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever" does nothing to support Jesus being a man now, as Jesus was not a man before being born as such. Rather, the point is clearly that the person of Jesus is the same or continuous. Regarding the Father being greater than Jesus, it is noteworthy that Jesus still declared this relationship in heaven after his resurrection and exaltation at Revelation 3:12. Therefore, it is not restricted to "functional" but is clearly actual subordination.
In 1 Cor. 11:3, the Father being the head of Christ is compared to the man being the head of a woman. Obviously, the woman having her husband as the head does not detract from her essential equality and humanity. She is subject to her husband in function, and her husband is held to a greater accountablity in the relationship, but she is not any less human than her husband.
Response:
The scripture is not talking about nature, but about authority structure.
It works the same way with the Father and the Son. Christ's voluntary subordination to the Father in no way detracts from or denies the equal deity of the Son.
Response:
It most certainly does, making the terms "Father" and "Son" lies.

In conclusion, for Trinitarianism to remain despite being legitimately dismantled recalls frustration like what Paul experienced with the Galatians as quoted at the outset. Indeed, the NET Bible footnote for "cast a spell" relates that the Greek word means "deceived," and "can be understood literally here in the sense of bewitching by black magic, but could also be understood figuratively to refer to an act of deception." Paul's graphically expressed frustration was made more pointed over the fact that that he had "vividly portrayed" Jesus to them. The NET Bible footnote for that translation explains that it means "publicly placarded," or "set forth in a public proclamation." Even though Paul made the true significance of Jesus' sacrificial death vivid and clear, it was still being confused by them, like under an evil magic spell! The same happens today. We can make our case for who Jesus is perspicuous and compelling, and then experience frustration like Paul's.

Footnotes:
[1] "Trinitarians: Can you answer questions directly?" on Yahoo! Answers: answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101201204109AA1KvA1


Related blog posts:

Labels: ,