Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Do You Reject Trinitarianism?
Part II: Holy Spirit and the Virgin Birth

How did Mary become pregnant?

According to Matthew 1:18 and Luke 1:35, Mary became pregnant by holy spirit. These read:
Luke 1:35 - The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. (NASB) (Note how "Holy Spirit" is in parallel with and equivalent to "power of the Most High.")

Matthew 1:18 - before they came together she was found to be [pregnant] by the Holy Spirit. (NASB, this has "with child" in place of "pregnant")

One source truthfully states:
"The gospels of Matthew (Matthew 1:18) and Luke [1:35] say that Mary was a virgin and that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. These gospels, later tradition and current doctrine present Jesus' conception as a miracle involving no natural father, no sexual intercourse, and no male seed in any form, but instead brought about by the Holy Spirit."[1]
According to Trinitarianism, the holy spirit is a person of the Godhead (specifically the third person), and therefore is God.[2]

Let's plug Trinitarian language into Matthew 1:18 and Luke 1:35, and see what we have (this is how Trinitarianism reads them):
Luke 1:35 - The angel answered and said to her, "God will come upon you, and God will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

Matthew 1:18 - before they came together she was found to be pregnant by God.
If the holy spirit is God, then logically did Mary have sex with God?

It sure sounds like Trinitarianism unwittingly teaches that God had sex with Mary. Doesn't it look like that? It looks like a sexual union of an alien person with a human female, giving the holy spirit the role of an incubus.

If Trinitarianism responds saying that the Holy Spirit Person of God (God the Holy Spirit) used power to make Mary pregnant, then how is that any different from the holy spirit being a spiritual energy, an active force from God fulfilling God's purposes?

As discussed in Part I, Trinitarianism unwittingly denies two crucial Christian truths: the ransom and the divinity of Christ. It also appears that Trinitarianism unwittingly denies another crucial Christian truth, the virgin birth.

Trinitarianism unwittingly denies:
  • Christ's ransom
  • Christ's deity
  • Christ's virgin birth
  • Christ
But there is something else to ponder. If the third person of the Godhead, the holy spirit, begot Jesus, then why is the first person of the Godhead, the Father, the father? Should it not logically be the holy spirit person? That it's not Jesus' father is another devastating yet ignored dilemma for Trinitarianism.[3]

In conclusion, while it is true that the Bible calls the holy spirit God's "hand" and "fingers" (Psalm 8:3; 19:1; Luke 11:20), it also calls it God's "breath" (Genesis 1:2; Psalm 33:6; Exodus 15:8, 9). Thus, "like a powerful breath, God's spirit can be sent forth to exert power even though there is no bodily contact with that which is acted upon."[4] Therefore, Mary is only an honest virgin if the holy spirit is an impersonal utilitarian divine energy, making her pregnant without bodily contact.

Acts 5:3-4 as a proof-text for Trinitarian Personhood
This scripture says:
Then Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds from the field? Wasn’t it yours while you possessed it? And after it was sold, wasn’t it at your disposal? Why is it that you planned this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God!” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Here the holy spirit and God are seen to be referenced in parallel. However, all this could mean is that the holy spirit is God's emanation representing Him in the Christian congregation. It clearly does not demand that it can only mean that the holy spirit is synonymous with God and therefore is the third person of the impersonal Trinitarian Godhead. Demanding that it can only mean that is unreasonable and delusional, as in the “strong delusion” Christians are warned against at 2 Thessalonians 2:11. (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Additionally, Paul at Romans 8:11 said it was God’s spirit that resurrected Jesus, and at Ephesians 1:19-20 he said it was God’s power that resurrected Jesus. Thus he appears to have called God’s holy spirit God’s power, which is similar to what the Gospels present. In the account at Matthew 12:28, Jesus used the phrase “God’s spirit,” but in the parallel account at Luke 11:20, Jesus said “God’s finger.” Thus the Gospels present God’s holy spirit as God’s power. Holy spirit is also listed together with inanimate qualities, like faith in Acts 6:5 and 11:24 and joy in Acts 13:52. Clearly, faith and joy do not share the impersonal Godhead as persons with the holy spirit. Compare with a longer list of qualities seen in 2 Corinthians 6:6. Thus, the term “holy spirit” is used in a variety of ways that must all be taken together when determining its meaning. Therefore, the Trinitarian handling of Acts 5:3-4 can only be described as irresponsible and encouraging the grave sins of scriptural illiteracy and intellectual absenteeism.

The Trinitarian handling of Acts 5:3-4 amounts to:
  • Scriptural illiteracy
  • Intellectual absenteeism

[1] "Virgin birth of Jesus." Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_birth_of_Jesus

[2] Trinitarian website: "The Person The Holy Spirit and prayer." http://www.thesanctuarychurch.us/holy_spirit.html
Also the source for the holy spirit graphic (the fiery dove) seen here.

[3] "Just who is baby Jesus' Father?" The Trinity Delusion: http://youtu.be/q8EM9IAv78A. I imagine a Trinitarian response to this reasoning could be that 'Jesus was speaking in behalf of his divine nature when referring to his divine father as the Father, and speaking in behalf of his human nature when saying the Father is greater than he is.' The problem with this response is that it is ad hoc and unwittingly applies personhood to nature. As Jesus was speaking as a person, not as one of his Trinitarian-assigned natures, this hypothetical Trinitarian response is refuted.

[4] "Spirit." Insight on the Scriptures Vol. 2, page 1020.

The image of Mary is from the children's book My Book of Bible Stories, Story 84, "An Angel Visits Mary." Regardless of its target age-group, this article is excellent and may be read here: http://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/bible-stories/part-6-birth-of-jesus-to-his-death/story-84-an-angel-visits-mary/

Link to Part I

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