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Featured conflicted about strict monotheism (vs trinitarianism)

Discussion in 'Seekers Circle' started by Karolina, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Karolina

    Karolina Member

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    I have a history of spiritual seeking. I've researched most of the major and minor world religions for years. I grew up Catholic, went through a Pagan period of about 2 years, returned to Christianity with stops in Quaker meeting, UU and Anglican churches, and finally returned to Catholicism. Then I fell away again due to post-partum depression and anxiety and struggled for 2 years to find hope in faith again, considering myself a Deist at one point but finding that it was not fulfilling for two main reasons: God in Deism is not interested in me and my life and I cannot have a relationship with the Divine, and there aren't any physical communities for Deists anyway, not that they actually worship God anyway. Finally I returned to Catholicism again and accreditted it to God's grace. I spent the past 3+ years trying to "do it right" by really taking my Christian faith seriously. I started to really grow in my faith, got involved in my church community, started taking on a little bit of leadership roles... and then all of a sudden out of nowhere I started to doubt again. For a solid month I was obsessed with researching first Mennonites and then Orthodox Christianity, until one day, just as suddenly as it appeared, the need to search left. I thought I dodged a bullet and was once again happy to be Catholic. Only a few weeks passed before I yet again woke up one day and started to question a very fundamental belief: the nature of God. For the past week, I've been obsessed with Judaism, and tomorrow I start a three week course at a local synagogue. I feel convinced about strict monotheism and that trinitarianism is idolatrous. But as I've noticed and caught myself with the various little reminders of the trinity in my daily life (the prayers we recite, the decor in my house, just being in church...) I have cried and cried at the thought of losing all of that. I'm not convinced that Judaism is "true" any more than any other version of strict monotheism. I only know that I believe in one God, and I want to serve him, worship him, and follow his guidance. However, my Christian indoctrination makes me second guess what I on one hand think is leadings from God and think, "maybe it's Satan leading me astray." I'm tired of the constant back and forth. I just want to worship God in a community of like-minded people with traditions that are meaningful to me. But either a group is in line with my beliefs but their worship style is unfulfilling, or the worship style resonates with me but the beliefs do not. Is there any hope for me? Will I ever find rest? Is this my lot in life, to constantly be searching yet never finding God? Jesus is quoted in the New Testament as saying "ask and it will be given to you, seek and you shall find" but when? And will it ever be permanent? Thanks for letting me vent. I welcome any pearls of wisdom.
     
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  2. Good-Ole-Rebel

    Good-Ole-Rebel Active Member

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    Myself, I am Christian, Protestant. I am not anti-Catholic. I recognize their are many Christians in the Roman Church and the Protestant Church.

    You sound conflicted in several areas. I would first ask this. What do you think about Jesus Christ? I mean, what do you believe concerning Him.

    If you are Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ, you will never find rest within any group that denies Him.

    Good-Ole-Rebel
     
  3. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    Ask yourself: Is god separate from creation, conjoined (partially or fully?) with creation, both, or neither?
     
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  4. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
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    you can be a strict monotheist and still believe in Jesus as a messenger, just as he presents himself, the trinity is not biblical IMHO
     
  5. LightofTruth

    LightofTruth Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend staying away from any sect that refuses to accept that souls of the faithful sleep until they are raised from the dead.They give false hope to their congregation.

    Also, Jesus' God is the one true God.
     
  6. Rival

    Rival Noahide
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    Attachment to familiar and comforting rituals is not attachment to truth. Going out of your comfort zone is a good idea.
     
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  7. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    This question has been and an answer continues to be sought, but
    'God’s essence/nature lies beyond human comprehension. We can know that God is, and what God is not, but not what God is.'

    ejournals.bc.edu/index.php/lumenetvita/article/view/5350/4814https://
     
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  8. leov

    leov Well-Known Member
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    trinitarianism is a human construct, you can just ignore it, search for Christ in you.
     
  9. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Personally, I just don't understand why human beings expect to have the authority to saddle the Sacred with the duty to conform to some specific (and small) number of aspects.

    Whether there is any God and whether he is One, Multiple, both, neither or all of the above is a function of the faithful's perception. How could it be otherwise?
     
    #9 LuisDantas, Nov 19, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  10. Karolina

    Karolina Member

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    Thank you all for your feedback. I may have been rushed in posting so perhaps I should clarify one thing: the reason I'm searching is to find a group of like-minded people to worship God with. It is not enough for me to stay home alone and pray to God as I understand Him. That's certainly a huge part of faith and spiritual practice for me, but not its entirety.

    I also cannot tell for sure if I am motivated to "follow Jesus" because of my indoctrination and that's just the terminology I'm familiar with, or if I actually think there is a difference to following Jesus and following God. I believe that Jesus can lead us to "the Father" (aka God), but I also believe that Paul is the more influential figure in Christianity, and he has distorted Jesus's teachings to where it's quite tricky to discern what Jesus actually taught versus what has been put in his mouth, as it were.

    I've watched and read The Case for Christ. I've gone through several intro to Christianity courses months long. I think there is a serious flaw in the premise that "Jesus is either a lunatic, a liar, or God". I think there is an overlooked fourth option - he indeed was a great teacher, but his teachings have been distorted. This, too, explains the apparent contradictions in the New Testament.

    The other thing I may not have stated originally is that honestly, I do not think "ultimate truth" can be known this side of heaven, if you will. So it is a bit of an exercise in futility to try to find a place of worship that works, since I'm not really expecting "to find truth" outside of what I believe has been universally revealed to all of humanity through nature. I don't doubt the truth of God's existence, and I choose to believe that God is a personal entity Who loves me and created me for a reason. I also think God deserves to be worshipped, but this is where I run into trouble because... how/where/with whom?
     
  11. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Veteran Member
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    Quiet your mind and listen to your heart. I fall away from God when I overthink things. There's many good resources about the Trinity if you do need them. Also, don't listen to people who are trying to convert you one way or another, as some are trying to do in this thread. That will just lead to more confusion.

    If I may, I recommend this book: https://www.amazon.com/Divine-Dance-Trinity-Your-Transformation/dp/0281078157
     
    #11 Saint Frankenstein, Nov 19, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
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  12. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    It sounds like you are struggling with the heart of the Torah, which even Jesus quoted as the most important law -- Hear O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. It baffles me how Christians can then divide him into three.

    One of the things I've learned about Catholics is that in addition to having a relationship with God, they also have a relationship with the Church. It's like being married. This is why so many ex-Catholics are so nasty about the Catholic Church -- it's hard to divorce a marriage partner without getting nasty.

    I'm saying this because I think it is the reason you keep going back to the Catholic church. Even if you ultimately convert to something else, and I mean completely and permanently make the move, Catholicism will always loom large in your mind, either in a good way or a bad way.

    How long have you had this issue with monotheism v. the trinity? The reason I ask is because I'm checking to see if it is a true issue and not just one of your phases.

    There is nothing to stop you from exploring Judaism. Take it slowly. There is no pressure or obligation -- we don't believe anyone needs to be a Jew. You are perfectly fine as a Gentile ethical monotheist. So come and learn and schmooze. At the very least you'll broaden your horizons and have greater sympathies towards us, and get thinking about ethics and morality in new and thoughtful ways. Such a deal!

    This forum is a very good place for you to ask questions, btw and I'm glad you are. Just know that it is no substitute for actually going to a synagogue, talking to a rabbi, and taking some classes in Judaism.
     
    #12 IndigoChild5559, Nov 19, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
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  13. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    Its important to keep in mind that the NT is a testimony in faith, not chronological history in our sense of history, nor a biography of Jesus' life. Both the Gospels and the Epistles are the product of post Resurrection faith. No one followed Jesus around and made notes. If the End Times were believed to be in their life time, no need to write.
    Saint Frankenstein gave you very good advice!
     
  14. wellwisher

    wellwisher Active Member

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    In the Old Testament monotheism was an upgrade from polytheism. In polytheism there were different Gods for different things. There was a God for love and a different God for war.

    Monotheism had one God doing everything. Polytheism was similar to specialty labor, while Monotheism was analogous to a Jack of all Trades. Polytheism would often result in people choosing a favorite God to worship ,such as Aphrodite. This was good, but it could also make you one-sided. Monotheism was a way to have your faith more complete and therefore part of all aspects of life, simultaneously.

    In the Old Testament the Father was not a personal God. One had to approach God through intermediaries; Priests, who had access to the inner sanctuaries. Only they could speak to God on your behalf. Good was not fully conscious but was done via choice and will power.

    In terms of the brain's operating system, polytheism dealt with the archetypes of the collective unconscious; personality firmware, while monotheism dealt with the inner self, which controls all the firmware. Monotheism reflected in upgrade in the opera†int system of the human brain, since the inner self is much deeper in the operating system and controls the firmware. This allowed all firmware to exercised, instead of becoming too one sided; assembly line. In the Old Testament, by having to use Priests as middlemen to God reflected a transitional state where the inner self was no yet personally conscious, except in some.

    Jesus by being the son of God, who was one substance with the Father of monotheism, who, in turn, left behind the Comforter or Spirit of Truth, who was also one substance with the Father, symbolized a change in the nature of monotheism. In this case, one was still dealing with the inner self; one substance, but now the mono-core image of the Old Testament inner self, became a tri-core processor.

    This is different from polytheism which deals with the archetypes. The Trinity makes use of 1-3 inner self cores based on the needs of the inner self. It allows for spiritual multitasking and enhanced inner self affects; Saints.
     
  15. Rival

    Rival Noahide
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    What? Noach, Avraham and many others spoke with G-d. The Prophets of blessed memory spoke with G-d. Sarah spoke with G-d. Jews and Noahides pray to G-d directly all the time, some of us every day. We need no go-between.

    It's Jesus in Christianity who is an intermediary.
     
    #15 Rival, Nov 20, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
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  16. Karolina

    Karolina Member

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    Honestly? The trinity has always been something I either tried to explain in my own way, or ignored as best I could. In the past, I've explored various non-trinitarian (and non-Christian) belief systems, starting some twenty years ago I would say. Most recently, though, I spent the last three years or so really trying to "fake it till I make it" in the Catholic Christian identity. I really tried. I said I believed things that I doubted, trusting that they would work themselves out. This year I became more vocal in my church with several speaking opportunities, one in particular being my faith journey. Not long after this, all the old doubts returned. I believe God is a mystery, but I no longer believe that the Trinity is a mystery. It's confusion. That's not the same thing, and I don't believe God is a God of confusion, but of clarity, peace, and tranquility.

    A follow up question to your comment regarding being "fine as a Gentile ethical monotheist" - I'm assuming that would mean not being involved in a Trinitarian church though? If so, a decision has to be reached - where do I worship God and with whom and how?
     
  17. Karolina

    Karolina Member

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    Thanks for your attempt at clarifying the difference between polytheism and trinitarianism. That said, I don't feel any closer to a conviction in favor of trinitarianism. Rather, it feels like what it must feel having multiple personalities, that's the best way I can explain it. I'm told to pray to Our Father, but in the name of Jesus, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide me. I have to keep track of whom to ask for what, and from an informal poll at a Discovering Christ program I attended, most Catholics have a favorite person of the trinity to whom they prefer to pray, who best resonates with them. I find that confusing and problematic, as well as distracting.

    As for your quote above, it's interesting that I used to think that too. But my recent research into Judaism shows that God is more directly accessible to modern Jews than to especially Catholic Christians. In a way, I feel as though Jesus may have been ahead of his time trying to usher in a sort of Reformed Judaism which didn't take.

    Before his ascension, Jesus said he was going back to "my Father and your Father, my God and your God." I can't reconcile that with the interpretation, "I'm going back to myself, and I'm your god and father".
    :/
     
  18. Karolina

    Karolina Member

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    May I ask if you worship G-d in community or just on your own? Do you worship in synagogue with Jews? I'm uncertain of what being a Noahide really looks like as far as belonging to a community of like-minded believers, since I've not found any Noahide communities...
     
  19. Rival

    Rival Noahide
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    If you believe you are committing idolatry and it's hurting you spiritually, imo the last thing you need to do is continue it or try justifying it.
     
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  20. Rival

    Rival Noahide
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    I am on my own. I daven on my own and I live nowhere near a Jewish community; I'm in a village in a farm community. Choosing Noachidism is not an easy step. It's very rewarding, but there are few of us. Feel free to PM me if you want.
     
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