History of Trinity and Christendom


The Trinity

“This word or term does not anywhere occur in the Bible or the writings of the disciples of Jesus, who knew nothing about this most irrational and illogical doctrine. The dogma of trinity as embodied in the famous Nicene Creed formulated in 325 A.D. finds no support from the biblical literature; but its advocates try in vain to prove that at least the germs of the Trinity are found scattered in the teachings of the synoptists and subsequent writers. For instance, they argue that the three persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are explicitly mentioned in several places in the New Testament and divinity is plainly attributed to these persons. Hence we are justified in concluding that the New Testament teaches the doctrine of Trinity. But the Old Testament is emphatic as regards the Unity of God.

How to reconcile the two conflicting doctrines? The strange answer, which the church fathers give, is that we should believe that God is one and three, both at one and the same time. Let us worship God, they said, as one in three and three in one. This is the way, in which the church fathers reconciled the monotheism of the Old Testament with the Tritheism of the New; and as the term Tritheism was avowedly polytheistic, they took shelter under the enigmatic rather irrational term Trinity, originally coined by Bishop Tertullian and popularised by St, Athanasius.

Our Christian friends sometimes try to prove the “truth” of this vibrational doctrine by adducing analogies from objects in Nature. Man, they try to argue, is made up of three distinct elements or parts, body, soul and spirit; yet man is one individual; or the sun consists of three qualities, viz., heat, light and rays, yet there is only one sun.

As this dogma was contrary to all canons of thought and was constantly attacked by philosophers and thinkers, the church utilised all its might to curb science and philosophy in Europe; and later on, when the papacy failed to check the tide of rationalism, the leaders of the church invented a new apology, viz., this dogma is a mystery and as such is beyond human ken. No human being, howsoever wise he may be, can comprehend the meaning of this doctrine.

But this again is a fallacy. The dogma of the Trinity is not above reason, but certainly against reason; it is not supra- rational, it is irrational. A mystery is that which human reason can neither prove nor disprove; it baffles human intellect. Yet we accept it on the testimony of our sense, e.g, the phenomenon of perception. We perceive things every moment but we don’t know how we perceive? But the doctrine of Trinity does not belong to that category. Human reason formulates congent arguments against it, and refutes it on rational grounds and exposes its absurdity by means of logic.

Take another example. We all believe that body and soul are united in human personality. We all know that there is a mysterious relation between body and soul, but this relation baffles human intellect; nobody knows in what way they are inter-related. This is indeed a mystery; but trinity is not a mystery; it is an absurdity plain and simple. To designate Trinity as ultra-rational is nothing but a fallacy which cannot stand the test of reason.

History of the Doctrine

This much is certain that the idea of the Trinity was not present in the minds of the Christian writers of the first and second centuries. As stated above this word was coined by Tertullian, who flourished in the third century; and was adopted by all the subsequent writers on this subject, till it was officially and formally incorporated into the church creed in 325 A.C.

However, the word “Trinity” though accepted by church, could not find its way into the New Testament by any means; thus we can safely affirm that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were not aware of this word or its connotation: nay, we go still further and say that even Jesus himself does not believe in this doctrine. If he had taught it to his disciples in any form,, surely they must have mentioned it somewhere or the other, explicitly in their writings. It is why the Unitarian sect establishes the humanity of Jesus and the unity of God from this very New Testament. For instance, they quote math: 19-16 to 17

and behold, one came and said unto him. Good master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, why callest thou me Good? there is none good but one, that is, God; but if thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments,”.

Here in these verses they argue, Jesus repudiates all claims to divinity in unequivocal terms, and stands out before the world in his true colours , a human being pure and simple. Quotations of this kind can be multiplied to any number by a diligent student of the New Testament. Verses of this nature have baffled the greatest theologians throughout all these centuries who, finding the ground slipping off their feet, have adduced some of the clumsiest arguments in the domain of theological controversy. “Jesus uttered these words, these ingenious and clever protagonists of the doctrine hasten to observe, “in the capacity of his humanity”. But they seem to forget that this reply or plea lands them at once in the mire of logical fallacy; and to produce fallacious arguments is to declare one’s own intellectual and moral bankruptcy. To say so, I would retort, is to beg the whole question. You say he is speaking in his capacity of man. Quite so, but that is the only capacity Jesus had. Capacities other than this, are still awaiting demonstration and proof. You intend to convey thereby that Jesus had two natures- one human, the other divine. Very good, prove it like an honest man; but you are bringing forward as proof what still stands in need of being proved.

Reverting to the original theme, this dogma was not known to the evangelists or early church fathers. Let me quote dr. Bucknel:
“The formal statement of the doctrine of the Trinity did not come ready-made into the world. It is the result of the church’s efforts to express in the simplest possible terms, the new truths about God that she had come to know through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ” (p.43 “Exposition of the Thirt ynine Articles”). But the strangest thing of all is why didn’t the disciple of Jesus express this “new truth” anywhere in the four gospels or their epistles? The Truth is that this doctrine was not known to St. Paul who is the real founder of the Roman church and all that goes by its name. “To us,” he says, “there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things and we live in him, and one lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and we in him” (1 Corinthians, 8:6).

Now this is a plain confession of the belief in the unity of God by St. Paul who knew more of Christianity than the whole Christian world put together.

Council of Nicea
Council of Nicea

But when the simple religion of Jesus stepped out of the borders of Syria, it came into open conflict both with the Pagan cults and philosophical systems prevailing in the then civilized world. Being unable to establish its superiority over them by virtue of its teachings it eventually succumbed to popular pagan beliefs and gradually underwent a complete transformation  till it could hardly be distinguished from them. A part from the heavy pressure brought upon it by the pagan cults, its advocates were largely influenced by the gnostic and the Neo-platonic ideas and they bedecked their religion (Christianity)with borrowed plumes, in order to make it acceptable to the intellectual world.

Lastly, the church fathers committed the fatal mistake of interpreting the metaphorical and the mystic language of the New Testament literally thereby making confusion worse confounded (sometimes “wahabi” cult in islam also take metaphorical word into literal form in muslims, thats why they are not following the right way). For instance, they came across such terms as the “Son of God”, used in regard to Jesus; and in their zeal to place him on a level with Apollo, Horus, Mithra and other Sun-gods, they applied this term to Jesus in its literal sense, forgetting once for all that according to the Old Testament usage, the term “Son of God” connoted nothing more than one beloved of God or a holy person. This unwarranted exaggeration as regards the real position of Jesus on the part of his followers resulted in his deification and all future controversies inside the church which rent the whole CHristian world asunder just before the advent of the HOly Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), as has been admitted by no less a hostile critic of Islam than Sir William muir. It is to this unreasonable attitude of the Christian writers and fathers that the Holy Qur’an refers in one of its memorable verses, where it pronounces judgement on all these irrational doctrines.

O ye who have received the Scriptures, exceed not the just bounds in your religion, by speaking beside the truth; neither follow the desire of people who have heretofore erred, and who have seduced many and have gone astray from the right path” (V:80).

The excess or immoderation referred to by the Qur’an in this verse, sums up in the most beautiful way, the whole history of Christianity during the first six centuries of the Christian era. What else did the church fathers do during the first four centuries but to borrow the whole substructure  of their faith from diverse religions prevailing in Egypt, Greece and Syria. And in so doing they certainly followed those peoples who had gone astray and were finally merged in paganism, long before Jesus, the son of Mary, was born. It should be clearly bome in mind, that the Jewish Christians never acquiesced in this gradual deterioration of the original religion taught by Jesus, into paganism. They, on the other hand, persistently rejected all such efforts of St. Paul and others who came after him and followed in his footsteps. These early Christian sects, viz.., the Nazarenes, the Ebionites, and the Elchasaites  firmly maintained that….

(a) Jesus was but a human being as other Prophets before him. He was not God in any sense.
(b) Mosaic dispensation must be followed by every follower of Jesus.
(c) St. Paul’s Epistles were not revealed by God.
(d) Only Matthew’s gospel was genuine.
(e) The doctrine of Atonement was not taught by Jesus (vide History of the Christian Church, by Dr. Kurtz, p . 120).

But when Constantine, the Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, after his conversion, in the beginning of the fourth century, made Christianity the religion of the state, the Church became powerful enough to crush all its opponents and in order to achieve its object, prevailed upon the Emperor to summon the famous Church Council at Nicea in 325 A.C. in which the dogma of the Trinity was officially adopted as the true creed of Christendom, and all the dissenting sects were ruthlessly suppressed with the result that today we find no trace of them except in the true religion of Jesus was denounced as heresy and its votaries, as heritics – outside the pale of Christianity. (Just like today Wahabism is declaring every Muslim as polythiest and themselves as true in Islam). “Thus”, observes Dr. Draper in his Conflict between Religion and Science, “the simple faith of Jesus was transformed into idolatry and man worship.”

Now I will briefly narrate the circumstances which eventually led to the acceptance of the doctrine of Trinity as the official creed of the Church.

When Christianity was introduced in Egypt, the people of this land believed in a trinity of godhead which consisted of God, and his Son Horus and his Mother Isis. The Christian fathers, particularly St. Cyril, not only borrowed the Logos theory from Alexandrian thinkers by which Jesus became the Son of God; but also placed Mary on the pedestal of divinity and began to worship her side by side with her son and officially bestowed upon her the honorific title of the “Mother of God”. Whether they were actuated by noble motives or otherwise in introducing this attractive though irrational doctrine into the simple religion of Jesus is best known to God. What concerns us is that in their zeal to make Christianity acceptable to the Egyptians, the Church fathers unconsciously banished monotheism form their religion and replaced it with paganism and polytheism or idolatry and Mariolatry. The images of Jesus and Mary were formally installed in the churches and with them were gradually introduced all the pagan rites in the worship of God.

The Arian Controversy

This was the state of affairs when Arius took up the cudgels on behalf of the monotheism taught by Jesus and made a last theological effort to save Christianity from the slough of idolatry.

Let me begin by quoting Dr. Buckenll:
“The most powerful heresy in conflict with which the dotrine of the Trinity received its final expression was Arianism. Arius started from a philosophical idea of God that ruled out in advance the possibility of a real incarnation. In common with Judaism and current Greek philosophy, he regarded the unity of God in such a way as to exclude all contact between God and the world and all distincitons within the divine unity. Accordingly he endeavoured to find a place for Christ outside the being of God.

“God, he taught, was alone eternal. He could not communicate His own being or substance to any created being. As the very name Son suggest, God had not always been a father but became such by creating the Son. The Son is not of the same substance as the father else there would be two Gods” (P. 61).

Although the Ebionites, the Nazarenes, the Alogians, and the Monarchians had persistently denied the plurality of Godhead before Arius, but none of these Pre-nicene sects had opposed the church so vehemently and attacked the polytheistic tendencies within it so vigorously as was done by him.

It was to silence this honest and sincere Christian that the church invoked the aid of the Emperor; and as he had accepted the church creed more or less for political reasons, he was easily prevailed upon by the church fathers to hold a general council at Nicea to decide this burning question.

Accordingly this memorable convention was held at Nicea in 325 A. C. in which 318 bishops were present. After a brief speech by Bishop Eusebius of Caesara, the resolution regarding the divinity of Jesus was put to vote; and 313 out of 318 voted for it. When Arius stood up to challenge the validity of the votes in favour of the divinity of Jesus, the Emperor intervened and said in an imperative mood that the question was not open to discussion; and added that he should either accept the creed as formulated by the church in toto or take the risk of being excommunicated.

Constantine
Constantine

Thus the church succeeded in silencing the voice of Arius for good and from that day the dogma of the Trinity became the official creef of Christendom, which runs thus:

“We believe in one God, the Creator of all; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the word of God, His only begotten Son, God of God, begotten before all the ages. We do not divide the substance nor do we confound the persons. Jesus is God of God, begotten, not made; being of one substance with the father.”

Trinity Irrational

From the foregoing lines, I am sure, be as clear as daylight to every unbiased reader that the doctrine of Trinity is not a mystery at all, but an absurdity and illogicality pure and simple. The truth is that Christians believe in three distinct gods, as is clearly admitted by Dr. Bucknell in his Introduction to the Thirty nine Articles of the Church of England, published in London in 1952, p. 67:).

“They are distinct, but not separate” but may contention is that they (Christians) knew that belief in more than one true God is not only un-Biblical but also smacks of Paganism and Polytheism. Therefore, in order save their face before the civilized world, they took shelter under the cover of Trinity, which in its turn is utterly irrational and self-contradictory. No amount of verbal jugglery can ever demonstrate the reasonableness of this doctrine, which is based upon the direct violation of the laws of thought. By way of illustration let me examine the above-quoted statement of Dr. Bucknell. This statement is the outcome of a confused and puzzled mind. He says: “The three persons in Trinity are distinct but not separate” Surely the learned doctor of divinity knows the meaning of the two words “distinct’ and ‘separate’ in greater degree than myself as these words belong to his mother-tongue.

In the first place, these words are synonymous with each other in common parlance; so his statement can be paraphrased thus:
“The three persons are distinct but not distinct” or “they are separate but not separate,” and both these statements are self contradictory. A nice distinction, however, can be drawn between these two terms for the sake of arguments which amounts to this, that three things may be quite distinct, i-e., independent of each other, yet they may not be disjointed or cut off from on another. I admit the validity of this distinction but the question is, what does it prove? Following the analogy, we will have to admit that the three persons do not occupy separate spaces — they are three distinct things, call them gods or flowers on a twig//or grapes on a bunch. If this be the case, you can, by no stretch of imagination, conveive them as one thing. So, in other words, these are three distinct gods. Trinity, therefore, which stands for unity in trinity and trinity in unity falls to the ground and the whole superstructure tumbles down like a house of cards.

So far I have only examined the statement of the doctor and refuted it on literal and rational gorunds; now I proceed to show that these three persons are not only distinct but also separate (existing in different places) I quote Matthew 3:16 and 17:

“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straight away out of the water; and lo! the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the spirit of God decending like a dove and lighting upon him; lo! a voice from heaven saying: This is my beloved son in whom i am well pleased.”

According to this statement of Matthew, which is quite authentic in the eyes of the followers of the Bible, three distinct gods are located in three different places which proves that they are not only distinct but also separate. Let me do the apparently uneccessary work of differentiating these gods from one another:

(a) god number one — Jesus is distinctly standing descending out of the water on the ground under the sun.
(b) god number two — the holy spirit, is somewhere between the earth and the heavens, distinctly upon god number one.
(c) god number three is somewhere on the outer side of the heavens distinctly announcing his will to the creatures below.

 I think even a man running int he street can distinctly preceive that matthew is locating the three persons in three different places in unambiguous terms.

Distinct individual characteristics of the three person in the Trinity:

(a) These characteristics, if studied in an unbiased manner, leave no doubt in the mind of the student, that these three person are three distinct and separate gods:

Consider, the father is the fountainhead of divinity. Though he is not more divine than the son or the holy ghost yet he is the source on whom the remaining two gods depend for their divinity. Had there been no father, there would have been no son; but not vice versa.

“Father is “Ho—oeos’ X i.e. The God; while the son, eternally derives his godhead from the Father, and therefore eternally dependent upon Him” (Dr Bucknell, p. 66)

(b) It was not the father who suffered upont he cross; it was his son.

(c) You cannot address the father as the son. You cannot pray like this, our son who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name, etc.
(d) The question is who became flesh? The straight answer to this question is the word or the Logos or the son (of God).

Q. Who was with God?
A. The word or the Logos or the Son.

Q. Can we say the father became flesh?
A. No. Certainly not. This is rank heresy.

All these facts go to prove that there is something int he father which is lacking in the son, and by dint of which the father is the father, and the son is the son. One can’t take the place of another. Just as harry, Dick and Tom are three distinct persons, so are these three gods.

Now the man who says or has temerity to say that the Trinity is a mystery is either an ignorant being having no knowledge of the fundamental teachings of the Christian church or he has vowed before the Delphic Oracle that he would have nothing to do with truth in future.

(e) The doctrine of the Trinity is not only irrational and illogical, but also un-Biblical and unethical. It is, honestly speaking, highly derogatory to the exalted position of God. To Say the least of it, it makes the fetish of a God. It seems to me, that the unholy practice of anthropolatry has eventually deprived the true conception of godhead.
Every student of theology knows that the primary attribute of God is that He is necessarily existent Being. A God who depends for his existence upon others is no God at all. Yet we find these learned theologians solemnly declaring that Jesus “the Son of God — Very God of Very God and the Perfect God” — depends for his godhead upon another God, whose blessed name is the Father!

As these pious theologians start with wrong premises, they naturally arrive at the wrong conclusion; and their learned dissertations on theological subjects are, in reality, beautiful specimens of confused thinking or writings without any thinking. For instance, Dr. Bucknell says: “The three so indwell in one another, that where one is, all are, where one works, all will.” (p,67).
Very nice indeed! to work like a team is always very commendable rather profitable. But may I ask a few pertinent questions as this juncture?

God No. 2 was on the ground. Were Gods 1 and 3 also there with him or rather in him? God No. 2 was on the cross, Wasn’t he? Of course, who can deny that. Were Gods Nos. 1 and 3 also there hanging beside him or in him? I am sure no Christian on the face of the earth will dare to answer these questions in the affirmative. Consequently, such statements by these doctors of divinity are nothing but the travesty of truth.

Rank Blasphemy

Again, take the statement of one of the greatest teachers of the church into consideration. Even a cursory glance at it will convince the reader that man worship deprives the devotee of all powers of serious though.

“He was God” says St. Athanasius, “and then he was made man, that we might be made God” (or. c. Ar. 1,p. 39)

I have never read such blasphemous pieces of writings without a deep sense of sorrow and great mental anguish. Consider this highly irrational and blasphemous statement:

(a) Jesus is God. Very well; take it for granted.
(b) “Then he is suddenly made man” by another God of course, who must be superior to him in all respects; else he could not turn a God into a man.
(c) Nor satisfied with this absurdity the Saint goes two steps further and declares, “in order that we might be made Gods”.

Little did St. Athanasius pause to reflect that God, if He is really worth the name, exists by Himself and can never be made. On the other hand, He makes others. A God who is made man or anything else by another God, is no God at all — He is a figment of one’s own foggy brain and should be given a hasty burial.

Lastly, one fails to understand, how ‘we can be made God’ through the manhood of Jesus. St. Athanasius lived in the 5th century and i think, writing in an enigmatic and cryptic strain was regarded as a sign of wisdom in those days; but in this 20th century of Atomic energy, and scientific research, such utternaces are considered as sheer nonsense.

The world at large and specially the Christian world owes a great debt of gratitude to the Holy Qur’an which brushed all such puerile statements aside and declared:

“Say, He is God, the One and Only, God the Eternal absolute. He begetteth not, nor is He begotten: and there is none like Him.”

What a sublime truth in contrast with all the grotesque and ugly falsehood of the Trinitarian dogma!

 

 

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