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Christian: Father, Son and "Ignored One"

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Katzpur, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. Dentonz

    Dentonz Member

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    And again AMEN!!!
     
  2. SPLogan

    SPLogan Member

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    God is holy. He is eternal, all-knowing etc. We are sinful, finite people. God tells us what we need to know. To speculate on His mysteries is a bit presumptuous.



    For example: I know my father and I know he loves me but I don't think he ever told me exactly how I was conceived. Neither did he tell me all the details of his childhood. He didn't need to, he didn't want to, and it's probably best that those kind of things remain a mystery to me. I still "know" my father.

     
  3. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    it all boils down to having an accurate knowledge about what the holy spirit is , then the bible makes sense and harmonizes ,so again study is in order , then we would not need to ask the question that you have .
    Not a person. Not until the fourth century C.E. did the teaching that the holy spirit was a person and part of the "Godhead" become official church dogma. Early church "fathers" did not so teach; Justin Martyr of the second century C.E. taught that the holy spirit was an ‘influence or mode of operation of the Deity’; Hippolytus likewise ascribed no personality to the holy spirit. The Scriptures themselves unite to show that God’s holy spirit is not a person but is God’s active force by which he accomplishes his purpose and executes his will . the holy spirit is given us to gain accurate knowledge , and to do the will of God, but if we do not work in line with that spirit , God is sad:( and it is not just some bodys force, it is Gods force, what better help could his people have than that , Gods people can accomplish any thing when they work along with his spirit

    (John 14:26) But the helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach YOU all things and bring back to YOUR minds all the things I told YOU

    What has helped to obscure the truth about the holy spirit is that translators have twisted their versions according to their religious prejudices, as in their unwarranted rendering of pneuma as "ghost" and as in their capitalizing holy spirit. To make holy spirit seem to be a person they have also added the definite article "the" in 105 instances before the words "spirit" or "holy spirit," where the original does not have it. Either the original writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures were extremely negligent or disrespectful of the "Holy Spirit" in leaving out the definite article or else those who attribute personality to the holy spirit are sadly mistaken



     
  4. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Isaiah 59: 1 Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save,
    nor his ear too dull to hear.

    2 But your iniquities have separated
    you from your God;
    your sins have hidden his face from you,
    so that he will not hear.
    3 For your hands are stained with blood,
    your fingers with guilt.
    Your lips have spoken lies,
    and your tongue mutters wicked things.
    NIV

    It wasn't God who drew back. We are the ones who ran and hid from him, just like Adam and Eve in the garden.
     
  5. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    What an incredible number of linguistic fallacies in such a short paragraph! It is not unwarranted, merely old fashioned, to render pneuma as ghost. Pneuma means spirit, ghost likewise. Spirit is merely the Latin derived word and ghost the Germanic derived one. The fact that nowadays the word ghost is used to describe a disembodied spirit of the dead is an irrelevance, though it can of course be misleading. If you look to German you'll see that they continue to use Geist for both ghosts and other spirits. The fact that English has departed from this usage is a historical fact, but hardly of any consequence to the translators who originally used ghost.

    The definite article doesn't make the Holy Spirit more of a person. Are you trying to say that referring to my car as 'the car' would imply that I was granting it personhood? Surely not. On a related note, the addition of the definite article when translating into English is a grammatical necessity and not a distortion. Koine, like many other languages, does not use the definite article in certain places required by English grammar, that does not mean that the noun is not definite, just that it is implicitly, rather than explicitly so. This appears to be a common mistake of JW translators and results in a related error of adding indefinite articles where there are none in the original text and despite the noun being implicitly definite. Given the state of your linguistic knowledge with respect to Koine, I feel it is you who are mistaken.

    I'd refute your assertion that Scripture does not speak of the Holy Spirit using personal language. It does as has been shown by previous posters. Only a person can grieve, for instance. Your historical knowledge is likewise suspect. Pneumatomachism (denying the personhood of the Holy Spirit) was a late heresy that made waves in the Church because it denied what was already taught. This is clear evidence that the Holy Spirit's personhood was well established prior to the Council of Constantinople (and indeed by the time of Nicea, as no elaboration on the Holy Spirit's nature in the Creed was deemed necessary). Your quoting of Justin Martyr (if indeed he ever said this as I am unable to find such a quote - could you provide a source?) would prove nothing by itself as others certainly did speak of the Holy Spirit in personal language. However, selective quoting is always a bad idea, as anyone will see if they read Justin Martyr's apologies. He speaks no differently of the Holy Spirit than any modern Trinitarian Christian would. Likewise I can give you examples of very early Church writings such as the Shepherd of Hermas that do speak of the Holy Spirit as a person. It is simpy untrue that nobody spoke of Him as such until the 4th century. You appear to be mistaking a 4th century development in pneumatological language for a development of doctrine.

    James
     
  6. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    Hmm... UU was originally Christian. Is that close enough to get into this discussion? I wouldn't otherwise butt in (well, maybe I would) but I love the Holy Spirit. When Unitarians rejected the trinity in favor of seeing God as a unity, what we kept was the Holy Spirit. Some Christians focus on the Father; most focus on the Son; and as you said, few pay attention to the Spirit. We do. :D

    The way the trinity was explained to me (by a Catholic) was thus: The Father is the lover, the Son is the beloved, and the Holy Spirit is the love. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God; God's active principle in the world. The Spirit is what connects the Father to the Son, and what connects God to creation. The Holy Spirit is the bond of relationship. The Spirit moves within and between everything.

    I know this conception of the Spirit doesn't work if you think of the trinity as three separate people. But it works for me, and I honestly can't understand how the trinity works with three separate people. The way the trinity was explained to me (by a Catholic) is three persons but not three people. The only person of the trinity that ever was a "people" was the Son.
     
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  7. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    it is not unusual in the Scriptures for something that is not actually a person to be personalized or personified

    Wisdom is said to have children. (Luke 7:35) Sin and death are called kings. (Romans 5:14, 21) At Genesis 4:7 The New English Bible (NE) says: "Sin is a demon crouching at the door," personifying sin as a wicked spirit crouching at Cain’s door. But, of course, sin is not a spirit person; nor does personifying the holy spirit make it a spirit person

    True, at times the Bible personalizes the holy spirit. For instance, Isaiah said that certain rebels ‘made God’s holy spirit feel hurt.’ (Isaiah 63:10) Paul said it could be ‘grieved.’ (Ephesians 4:30) And a number of scriptures say that the holy spirit teaches, guides, speaks, and bears witness. (John 14:26; 16:13, 14; 1 John 5:7, 8) But the Bible also personalizes other nonliving things, such as wisdom, death, and sin. (Proverbs 1:20; Romans 5:17, 21) This is actually a vivid way in which the Scriptures sometimes express matters.​

    Today, we speak of the Bible in a similar manner when we say that it says something or teaches a doctrine. In using such expressions, we do not mean that the Bible is a person, do we? Neither does the Bible mean that the holy spirit is a person when it uses comparable expressions.










     
  8. NoName

    NoName Member

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    Thank you for finally reasoning that out for me.
     
  9. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Very nice description, lilithu.;)
     
  10. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Your last paragraph is great. This is the reason why I always try to use the word Hypostasis rather than person - because the latter word gives people visions of separate individuals and that is not the Trinity. In fact, Hypostasis would translate better as something along the lines of 'personal substance', than it does as person. In other words, that which makes a person unique. Your paragraph does a good job of putting this in plain English, though, which is something I've always struggled to do.

    Your second paragraph is, however, distinctly dodgy. I don't doubt that you've heard this (I've heard some RCs say the same on occasion) but that really isn't the Trinity either. It's an attempt by Bl. Augustine to describe the Trinity but was rejected by the vast majority of the Church as false. The big problem with the idea is that not only does it depersonalise the Holy Spirit (which May would approve of) but it makes Him totally inferior to the Father and Son, much more so, in fact, than the Roman Catholic filioque that we object to so much does. Luckily, I don't believe this Holy Spirit as bond of love between Father and Son idea is official RC teaching. If it were, I think the chances of our reunion (which have started looking up since I arrived here) would take a serious nose dive.

    James
     
  11. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    Hi James, namaste.

    Well, that conception of the Holy Spirit was taught to me by a Catholic professor at Georgetown last semester. Granted that it was in a class on liberation theology, but he presented it as being in keeping with the Catholic faith.

    You're right, it does "depersonalize" the Spirit in that the Spirit cannot in any way be thought of to have corporeal form. But on another level, it makes the Spirit more personal any either the Father or even the Son. It is the Spirit that moves thru and sustains creation. It is the Spirit that is immanent. It is by the Spirit that I know God. Without the Spirit, God the Father remains absolutely distant and aloof. It is by the Spirit that the Logos lives in me. Without the Spirit, God the Son died 2000 years ago.

    Hey, I don't expect to convince you, or anyone else. My only dispute with you is in your saying that this view makes the Spirit less important. As I said in my first paragraph, as a UU, the Spirit is everything to us.
     
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  12. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    It is not... it is just a way to descibe the Trinity.... it is not "false", but it does not stand on its own as a "definition".
     
  13. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Hi, NetDoc.

    (You don't know how happy I am that you're back. :bounce )

    I definitely don't consider the spiritual world to be "fake." As a matter of fact, I believe that all spirit is matter, just more refined matter than exists in the physical world. Notwithstanding the verses you quoted, don't you believe in a literal resurrection? The spirit itself never dies; I think that you and I can agree on that. But when we are resurrected, our spirits will be reunited with our new, immortal bodies. At least that's what I believe and what I think most Christians believe. I think that when the scriptures say that our new body is a "spiritual body," they are speaking of the fact that our resurrected bodies will no longer be subject to disease or decay. They will be immortal (or not perishable, as you said). When Jesus was resurrected, His physical body of flesh and bones was reunited with His spirit. I believe that's what will happen to us, as well. What do you think?

    Kathryn
     
  14. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    These posts seem to be getting further and further off topic. I hope nobody minds if I try to return at this point to the subject of my opening post. I see the Holy Ghost as being a "Revelator." It is through Him, and by no other means, that God communicates to man, and reveals Himself to us. But I see the Holy Ghost as being a distinct being, separate from the Father and the Son, each of whom has His own spirit. This fact is precisely the reason why the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit) is known by that name.
     
  15. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Of course you may "butt in"!


    Are you absolutely certain? Hebrews 1:3 says, "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."


    Jesus Christ is being compared here to His Father. And His Father is being spoken of as a "person." I know, I know. Now everybody's going to tell me that, in spite of what the Bible says, that's really not what it means. ;)
     
  16. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Right! And that's the very reason He is known, and referred to in the scriptures, as "the Holy Ghost" or "the Holy Spirit." It's the fact that He does not have a corporeal form that makes Him unique. If the Father and the Son didn't have corporeal form either, what need would there be for a "Holy Spirit"?


    Absolutely! Down to the last dotted "i" and crossed "t".


    Kathryn
     
  17. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    You misunderstood what I meant by depersonalise. I was not in any way referring to corporeal form. The only Hypostasis Who ever had corporeal form was the Son. I was referring to turning the Holy Spirit from a Hypostasis into a mere force as May would argue. The only part of that paragraph that I found distinctly dodgy was the Augustinian idea of the Holy Spirit being the love between the Father and the Son. This, whilst I understand what Augustine was trying to say is, despite Scott's opinion to the contrary, so poor a description that it is flat out wrong. If you take the words at face value you are left with a God in two Persons tied to each other by some ineffable force described as the Holy Spirit. This is actually one of the more egregious teachings of Augustine that was rejected by the entire Christian east. Luckily everyone errs and Augustine was well aware that he may have done so in his theology. He asked for but did not receive correction during his life time, so he is still an important saint and a Father of piety, but an awful lot of his theology is well beyond the pale. For what it's worth, I'm not trying to convince you either, just explain my, and the Orthodox, view on all this. And the Holy Spirit is incredibly important to Orthodox theology, as is every Hypostasis of the Trinity.

    James
     
  18. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Wow, and I felt under 'pressure' on the first page of this thread.........:biglaugh:

    I must say you guys have made me think; James, would you comfirm that the following reflects your beliefs:-
    http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article7063.asp
    BELIEF IN THE TRUE GOD

    The Scriptures refer often to the nature and substance of God for the Church to believe in. It is characteristic that St. John recorded: "this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God" (17:3). It is important that the Christian be led not merely in a God, but specifically to believe in the "True God" as revealed in the Scriptures and in the Person and teachings of Jesus Christ. The Christian ascribes to the nature of the True God all attributes of the finest experiences he has known, from the enlightenment of the Gospel, as being almighty' all-loving and all-holy; as a loving Father and Creator; as a Spirit beyond place, time and variation. Almighty God also is defined by the Fathers of the Church in terms that clarify what God is not.

    God as Creator created the heavens and the earth, the whole universe. He created angels as "ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Hebrews 1:7,14). Almighty God created man and provides him all the needs of life, sanctification as well as "newness of life" out of love. God's love is the only reason for sending forth His beloved Son to become Incarnate and bear the sins of the world, uplifting the human race for salvation.

    BELIEF IN THE HOLY TRINITY

    The fundamental truth of the Orthodox Church is the faith revealed in the True God: the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is in reality the declaration of the Christian faith, formulated and pronounced by the Ecumenical Synods of the One Undivided Church. It is impossible for the finite human mind to comprehend objectively the substance of the True God, true worship and true norms of life. Human reasoning in regard to faith in the Holy Trinity is confined to formulating the truths which already have been revealed in the Scriptures and Sacred Tradition. These truths of the Holy Trinity were formulated by the First and Second Ecumenical Synods in the Nicene Creed, and were based on Divine Sources.

    The Orthodox Church believes that God is one in substance and Triune in three Persons or Hypostases. The Church pronounces in its lucid liturgical confession: "I confess the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, Trinity consubstantial and undivided". In the Holy Scriptures there are passages recorded to strengthen this belief in the Holy Trinity on which the faith in God is revealed. The Scriptures proclaims "to us there is but one God, the Father" (1 Cor. 8:6); "in him (the Son) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9; cf. Matt. 26:63); and, relating to the Holy Spirit, "thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God" (Acts 5:4). This fundamental belief in the Holy Trinity was the subject of all the Ecumenical Synods in which the unchangeable pronouncement on the Holy Trinity was affirmed. They proclaimed primarily that the second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Logos, and the Third Person, the Holy Spirit, are of the same essence, Homoousios, of the Father. In the personal attributions of the Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity the Father begot the Son and the Father proceeds the Holy Spirit. The Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, sends the Holy Spirit to guide His Church (cf. John 15:26). The nature and attributes of the Persons of the Holy Trinity are revealed through Jesus Christ. The truth can be reached only by faith, being above and beyond human comprehension.

    THE SECOND PERSON OF THE HOLY TRINITY

    Another fundamental belief of the Orthodox Church is the faith in the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, Who became "incarnate by the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and became man" (Nicene Creed) for our salvation. The Virgin Mary Theotokos gave birth to Jesus, Who is the only begotten Son of God. In the Orthodox Church the Theotokos is highly honored as expressed in praises recorded in the Scriptures with qualities mirrored in the Magnificat (cf. Lk. 1:46 ff.). Despite the high honor and the highest admiration which the Orthodox Church bestows upon the Virgin Mary Theotokos, it does not teach either her immaculate conception, nor her bodily assumption into the heavens. The Church venerates the Theotokos as "holder of Him Who is illimitable ... and infinite Creator".

    God's love caused Him to send His Son Jesus Christ to save man. For the Christian the Incarnation of Christ is a mystery. Apostle Paul, the most keen interpreter of the life of Christ, in his epistle to Colossians writes that it was "the mystery hidden for ages and generations, but now made manifest to his saints" (Col. 1:26; cf. Rom. 16:25-26). Jesus Christ was sent for this divine mission "when the fullness of time was come" (Gal. 4:4), when man was prepared to accept Him as his Savior. Christ was born with two perfect natures, the divine and human, as God-man. When a Christian refers to Christ in the Old and New Testaments, he should presuppose the fact of the two natures of Jesus Christ which are made manifest in His Gospel and deeds.

    Another essential in the life of Christ, which is indispensable for the Church faith, is the Crucifixion of Christ which is considered the end of His humiliation and emptiness on earth. The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ nails to the Cross the sins of mankind. The Church considers this divine event the "sorrowful Easter", for it is linked with His Resurrection.

    The Orthodox Church considers the highest event in the life of Christ to be His Resurrection. It is pronounced as the glorification of Christ, touching upon the scope and the nature of Christ's Mission, which has been a part of the everlasting Christ. Christ presented Himself, as "the resurrection, and the life" (John 11:25). Without this belief in the Resurrection the preaching and the faith of the Church is in vain as Apostle Paul proclaims (cf. 1 Cor. 15:14). The belief of the Church is that on the third day Jesus Christ rose again. The Resurrection of Christ is considered by the Church to be the supreme declaration of faith. The Lord's Day, Sunday, is dedicated to His Resurrection. For this reason, the celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church is called the "Feast of Feasts".

    The Church believes that "He shall come again with glory to judge"; to judge the world and everyone on earth; to "render to every man according to his works" (Romans 2:6) of faith in Christ and His Gospel, his love expressed in good works, and in helping, others described as the "least", as explicit witnesses to the steadfastness of his faith in Him. In the Orthodox Church the justification and salvation of man depends on the standard of "faith which worketh by love" (Gal. 5:6).

    THE THIRD PERSON OF THE HOLY TRINITY

    The Orthodox Church believes "in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, the Giver of life" (Nicene Creed). The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity,Who proceeds from the Father only (cf. John 15:26). The Church firmly opposed the opinion that the Holy Spirit was created by the Son, and pronounced the correct belief in the Nicene Creed at the Second Ecumenical Synod. The Orthodox Church does not phrase filioque, "and of the Son". According to the Scriptures, the Son Jesus Christ only sends the Holy Spirit in time, saying: "I will send unto you from the Father even the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father" (John 15:26).

    It is evident from the Scripture that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father only; this was the belief from the very beginning of the One Undivided Church. When the church in the West inserted the "filioque" phrase into the Creed, this innovation precipitated the Great Schism of the Undivided Church. The "filioque" phrase is an error. It is not found in the Scripture. It was not believed by the Undivided Church for eight centuries, including the church in the West. It introduces a strange teaching of a double procession of the Holy Spirit and refers to two origins of the Spirit's existence, thus denying the unity of the Godhead.
     
  19. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Michel,

    Yes, I can certainly confirm that the Greek Orthodox article you referenced accurately describes our beliefs.

    James
     
  20. Baerly

    Baerly Active Member

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    The word of God refers to the Holy Spirit with gender pronouns such as He or Him.The H.S. is a person and should not be refered to as (it) (John 14-16).
    The H.S. participated in the creation of earth (Gen. 1:2).
    The H.S. moved the prophets of God (and apostles) to speak the message of God (2Peter 1:20,21) (Ex.4:12).
    The New Testament was delivered through the H.S. and this N.T. is the inspired (or God breathed) message of God (John 14:26 ; 16:13) .
    The H.S. delivered the total message of God once and for all and there is therefore no need for future revelations (2Peter 1:3) (Jude 3) (Gal.1:6-9).
    Those who believe these scriptures believe in Sola Scriptura. God delivered a message to Jesus (John 17:8), Jesus then gave those words to the apostles (John 17:8),When Jesus left the earth he sent the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) to bring to the apostles remembrance all things he (Jesus) taught them (John 14:26),the apostles wrote letters to all the churches of Christ informing them of this message (1Cor.14:37) (2Peter 3:1,2). These letters together make up our bible today.- in love Baerly
     
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