Two different doctrines
of the Holy Trinity!
Trinity with origins?
Trinity without origins?
In order to avoid hasty misjudgements against me, I want to say clearly from the very beginning here that I believe in the Holy Trinity. I utterly deny as pure heresy Sabellianism, Binitarianism and Unitarianism. I believe there is only One God, and that he is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who are all uncreated, co-eternal and co-equal. The name I AM THAT I AM applies to God the Father, God the Holy Spirit. and God the Son. God simply is. He is uncreated, and as is.
Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Trinity :
The Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox religions both believe that God the Father has no origin, but that God the Son and the Holy Spirit have their origin in God the Father.
Concerning God the Son it is expressed thus:
Make no mistake here, their definition of "begotten" is to be "born outside of time". Trouble is this then leaves the question "What does born mean here?". Their answer is that God the Father has no origin, but that God the Son and the Holy Spirit are both "made of the same substance as the Father" and as they are "made of him" that is not a creation. The truth is that the words "substance" and "consubstantial" have nothing to do with the Supreme Spiritual Being. I say they have this wrong, that God the Son and Holy Spirit are I AM THAT I AM, without birth and without procession, and that the true meaning of the word "begotten" is that it is used as a metaphor for "bring forth" or reveal, that Christ is the only revealed Son of God, and that it is doctrinal error (at very least) to say that the Son of God and Holy Ghost both have an origin, whereas God the Father does not! In fact I would go further and say that by saying God the Son is "born outside of time" and the definition of "born" is to be "made of the same substance as the Father" and the same applies to the "procession of the Holy Ghost" is a kind of Semi-Sabellianism, and I firmly believe Jesus and the Spirit have no origin whatsoever, they are both I AM THAT I AM, unaltered, not made, not drawn out of God the Father, born or proceeding from Him, but that they just are, and that the Trinity is and always has been as they are, One God in three persons.
Concerning the Holy Spirit it is expressed thus:
"The Holy Spirit, who proceedeth from the Father" and they emphatically deny "from the Son" because (unlike some Catholics) they realise this phrase is not just concerning the more minor issue of the Holy Spirit descending to Earth to be our Comforter after the ascension into heaven of Christ, but is more importantly to them about the divine nature of the 3 persons of the Trinity also. They are saying that the Holy Spirit of God has his origin in God the Father, but they do not say "born of the Father before all time" about the Spirit, his "origin" is expressed instead as "Proceedeth from the Father" before all time.
Oxford English Dictionary "
of the same substance or essence (used especially of the three persons of the Trinity in Christian theology): Christ is consubstantial with the Father.
This fancy man made word consubstantial is saying that to the Catholics and Eastern Orthodox God the Father has no origin, but the Son and Spirit are of the same "substance" as the Father, as he is their origin, and they then further add that unless you say that - then the Trinity would be 3 different Gods, in order to try to force everyone into their way of thinking with a very serious slur on anyone thinking of questioning their man made construct. The fact is God is Spirit, and the word "substance" and therefore consubstantial also, are off piste, inappropriate, and without validity.
Protestant beliefs about the Holy Trinity :
The most common view of Protestants :
I believe the most common view of Protestants about the Holy Trinity is very simple : That to believe there is one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all uncreated, co-equal and co-eternal is enough, and that the precise attempt at explaining this that the Eastern Orthodox try to make is not necessary, and therefore not attempted. I agree that if you believe in this simple core center definition of God a person is indeed in a state of salvation when they believe the "Jesus Saves Gospel" as they are believing Isaiah 43:11 "I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.".
The two most likely exception to this are the so called Church of England, or Anglicans, who are so saturated with the trappings of churchianity, the uniforms, the bogus hierarchy, the infant sprinkling, etc, and perhaps the Lutherans who are similarly infected with Babylonianism, and I cannot remember when reading about Luther that he differentiated a doctrine on this, thus he might have brought over the doctrine of "Trinity with origins" from Catholicism.
Is it necessary to have a more precise doctrine?
There is a troubling question to answer here: "Are millions of Arabs, and people in Christian sects, being stumbled into not accepting Christ, because of the inaccurate definition of the Holy Trinity made by the Eastern Orthodox?" Especially as they go even further with their error by saying God is made up of ousia and energia (more senseless dissection) and that they become part of God Himself by unity with him in his energia in the doctrine of Theosis.
This is a troubling issue - if we try to be specific it may well result in millions of Arabs and people in cults being saved, as they realise the true deeper meaning of Trinity, that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all without an origin, but "babes in Christ" who are not too good at theology at the moment might go astray in various ways. It is a dilemma. For my part I believe the notion "Truth can take care of itself" and I feel no responsibility is borne by any of us for simply clarifying this and getting it right. The fact is the doctrine of "Trinity without origins" is correct, not the Eastern Orthodox doctrine of "Trinity with origins." Jesus was not born outside of time, and the Holy Ghost is likewise I AM THAT I AM, both just are, Trinity just is.
I spoke to some Orthodox believers recently who said they thought almost all Protestants believe the same as them in every detail about the Holy Trinity. I deny this. I am Protestant and for one I believe they have it wrong about the superfluous details they add to the doctrine of the Trinity. I believe MILLIONS of Protestants would not hold the same view of the Holy Trinity as the Orthodox and Catholics if questioned about these specific issues. How many Protestant would be comfortable saying "Jesus has an origin" or "the Holy Ghost has an origin"? I for one feel sure MILLIONS would not profess such add-ons to the basic belief that there is One God, Father, Son and Only Spirit. In fact if I had to name the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic view of the Trinity it might be "The Trinity with origins" doctrine, as both God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have an origin in it, but not God the Father. The other view might perhaps best be called "The Trinity without origins doctrine".
I believe the following :
1) Jesus was not "born of the Father before all time" he is I AM.
2) The Holy Spirit just is, he is I AM, he did not eternally proceed from the Father.
3) Son and Spirit have no origin in the Father.
4) As the Father has no origin, the Son and Spirit also have no origin.
5) "born of the Father before all time" is a man made idea not found in scripture and is not a correct definition of "only begotten".
6) The Son of God was never born outside of time, only in the incarnation was Jesus born when God became incarnate.
7) The expression in scripture "the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father" is specifically a reference to when the Holy Spirit was given as our Teacher and Comforter after the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, it is not a theological statement that as Jesus was supposedly "born of the Father before all time" thus also the origin of life of the Holy Ghost was God the Father from who he proceeded.
8) The Father alone is not the "source of all life". The Son and Spirit have life eternally of themselves in a coequal fashion with God the Father, and Father, Son and Holy Spirit are co-equally the fountainhead of all life in creation, all being Co-Creators.
2) under construction......
note: these views all pivot partly on the definition of the expression "only begotten"
"begotten not created" issues
As you may know from other posts on this website, I believe that the true meaning of the word and phrase "begotten" and "only begotten" in relation to Christ is that he is the only revealed Son of God, all other sons of God being created. I would like to offer an old testament proof text of this
"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Micah 5:2 KJV.
Notice how similar this phrase is "whose goings forth" and Jesus coming forth and being "revealed" to us as the one and only uncreated Son of God.
The Catholics and the Orthodox may prefer to use the NIV, which states:
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." Micah 5:2 NIV.
However notice the corrupt translation "origins" is plural, and the Orthodox and Catholics wishing to use this verse to support that God the Father is the actual origin of Christ by him being "born" of him outside of time therefore have a problem, as it would need to be singular "origin".
Birth is from women, feminine. not masculine like God the Father. The term "born outside of time" is nowhere to be found in scripture.