Is the Trinity Really
A Mystery?

Joseph Molnar


And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only (cm. God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3

 

Preface

It is rather easy for most Protestants to see and to condemn the evil deeds of the visible Church during the dark ages. These misdeeds include its corrupt involvement in the political affairs of Europe, forbidding the translation and distribution of the Bible, the Inquisition, and the sale of indulgences. Other abuses easily seen were its merciless extermination, of the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths, the Hussites, the Huguenots, the Lollards, the Lombards, the Albigenses the Moravians, the Waldenses, and the dissenters of England. Not to mention the burning at stake of anyone who dared criticized its evil use of wealth and power.

It is also easy for most Protestants to reject some of the doctrines conceived during this period that were not only based solely on the traditions of men, but were contrary to scripture. These doctrines include The Immaculate Conception, Mary's Assumption, The Mass, The Confession, The Infallibility of the Pope, and Transubstantiation.

The Reformation went a long way to expose and to correct major errors of the church, but it did not correct them all. Light still needs to shine. For example, most Protestants do not recognize that one of their own doctrines, one which they hold very dear, was conceived, affirmed, and promoted by the same church that did all the wicked acts listed above. Nor do they recognize that this doctrine is contrary to the original scriptures.

This pamphlet was not written to create a dispute between brethren or to debate those who are content to receive their spiritual understanding from a priest, a preacher or a denomination. This pamphlet was written to give spiritual water from the Bible to those who are thirsty.

May God give you the desire to seek truth from the Holy Scriptures — not from a man or an organization.

Please note: Unless otherwise specified, all Bible references in
this pamphlet are from the King James Version (KJV).

 

Is The Trinity Really
A Mystery?

By Joseph Mollnar and William Rawls

 

Introduction

 

The doctrine of the Trinity states that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three distinct persons, yet they are not three Gods, but one God. It states that The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit are of one substance, co-equal, co-eternal, and that these three members make up the Godhead. Since no one can understand the Trinity, it is explained as a mystery.

Probably no other doctrine of the Christian faith has impacted the Church as much as the doctrine of the Trinity and no other doctrine with so little Biblical support has been so widely accepted and ferociously and cruelly defended. This pamphlet has been prepared to present the support for the Trinity and to examine the evidence of those who contend that it is not scriptural, even pagan. It is our prayer that through this pamphlet, God will open your eyes and settle in your heart, what to believe about this doctrine.
The History of the Christian Trinity

A very large book would be required to document fully the ecclesiastical and political events that occurred during the turbulent times when the Trinity doctrine was formally drafted and imposed upon all Christians. This short, simplified summary provides only a brief overview of the major events influencing the final outcome. You are strongly encouraged to read more detailed accounts. You are also encouraged to read other pamphlets and books that 'explain' this doctrine, and you are encouraged to study your Bible to determine if you are being told the truth.

The Christian Trinity had it beginnings in the early fourth century after the Roman Emperor Constantine had consolidated his Empire, and moved his capital to the Byzantine city of Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey). Constantine had publicly accepted Christianity, and declared it to be the official religion of his kingdom. However, his life of deceit, revenge, murder, and war reveals that his faith was not the faith of the scriptures, or the faith of Jesus, but some other faith.

Constantine realized that while he had unified his empire politically, there was a serious, religious division within the church. This division centered on the understanding of the nature of the Father and the Son. Some bishops, basing their belief on the monotheistic concept of scripture, reasoned that since the Son was begotten of the Father there was a time in which The Son did not exist. Therefore, the Father was the only self-existing God. Other bishops disagreed, reasoning that if the Son was begotten of the Father, He was identical to the Father in all respects, so therefore He also was God. This debate had been simmering for years, but now was becoming open and threatening to the empire.

Constantine quickly called for and financed a council of bishops to resolve their differences and to produce a unifying statement of faith. It is fully recognized that Constantine's call was more for political reasons than religious ones, but it was an official Christian Church Council nevertheless.

In 325 AD this council met in Nicaea, Turkey with Constantine as its official seated leader. After months of bitter debate, the bishops who believed that both the Son and the Father were God succeeded in convincing Constantine they were correct and together, without agreement of the dissenters, they issued what is now called the Nicaean Creed. This creed recognized the existence of the Holy -2- Spirit, but did not raise 'Him' to the position of God. That would come later. Here is an English translation of this creed:

"We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son Of God, the only begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance (homoousion, consubstantialem) with the Father.

By whom all things were made both which be in heaven and in earth. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate and was made man. He suffered and the third day he rose again and ascended into heaven. And he shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead.

And we believe in the Holy Ghost. And, whosoever shall say, that there was a time when the Son of God was not, or that he is of a different subset nee or essence from the Father, or that he is a creature, or subject to change or conversion, all that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them. "

By an Imperial order, this creed was imposed on all church congregations. Those who did not accept it were excommunicated and their bishops exiled. From exile these bishops continued their opposition, and in 335 AD Constantine changed his mind proclaiming the Nicaean Creed to be in error, reinstated the exiled bishops and exiled the bishops who had led in the creed's adoption.

Nevertheless, this ruling was short lived, as two years later, Constantine went to his deathbed (where he was at last baptized) with a sharply divided church. After Constantine's death, his son and successor, Constantius, repealed his father's last decree and reinstituted the Nicaean Creed as the official statement of Christian faith, with the recalling and exiling of appropriate bishops.

In spite of Imperial pressure, opposition to the creed continued. In 357 The Ecumenical Church Council of Antioch/Seleucia met and removed the Co-substantive (homoousios) clause. The creed remained essentially unchanged until 381, when the Council of Constantinople repealed the Antioch/Seleucia deletion and went further by adding, "That God The Father, God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit to be Co-eternal, Co-equal, and Co-substantive." It had taken 320 years from the death of Jesus, but the doctrine of the Trinity, as we know it today, had finally been expressed. With the new doctrine now officially recognized, church leaders and the state, -3- spiritually and physically crushed all opposition. Non-Trinitarians were excommunicated, their property taken, and in many cases their lives forfeited. These actions and others like them by the Church led to the period of European history known appropriately as the 'Dark Age'.