DNArington wrote:I think if we truly trust in Jesus and put our faith in Him and understand who He is in relation to us, we will naturally try to serve and bless Him, because that is where our hearts will be set. I'm not saying it is easy to get there nesasarily, we are all messed up sinners and we will stumble and fall, but what is in the heart of a man will overflow out of him, so if we put Jesus at the center of our heart us serving Him and telling others about Him will overflow.
But, yeah, this is an extremely important secondary issue.
Amen and Amen!
DNArington wrote: I was just wondering where you got that you have to believe in the Trinity to be saved. I don't know anyone personally, but there are people who believe that God is one and shows Himself in three ways (Father, Son, Spirit.) I believe that's wrong and is extremely important, but where do you get that that is a damming factor?
This is a very good question.
I don't think we necessarily need to go into the depths of the doctrine of the Trinity with people before they can come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ (although it is helpful). And I think young Christians may experience that sort of incidental heresy I talked about above as they begin their deeper walk with Jesus.
However, formally denying the Trinity has been considered heresy from the very beginning. Once the church was able "to take a breather" from persecution they formalized this early belief in the Nicene Creed in 325/381 AD. (I can provide the text if you'd like, although a simple search will uncover it.)
Athanasius (one of my personal heroes of the Faith) was instrumental in the Nicene Creed and also was behind the so-called "Athanasian Creed". It begins: "Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence.
Simply put, to deny the Trinity is to deny who God is. It is to worship a false god. A false idea. A god who has been watered down so that we can better understand The One who cannot be fully understood.
Here is a great graphical illustration of an orthodox view of the Trinity. Of God.
To deny who God has revealed himself to be in Scriptures (There are 1. Texts that say that there is one God. 2. Texts that show the three persons of the Trinity as distinct persons from each other. 3. Texts that show each person being fully divine.), is to chose to believe in something that doesn't exist.
I can choose to exist that my best friend is a superhero, possesses a power ring and can fly . . . but it is simply not true. Even if I sincerely believe my friend possesses such ability. I am wrong. Furthermore, when I tell others about him, I am not telling them about anyone who exists, but a fantasy. Yes, my friend is aware of my existence. But I am no real friend of his (in his eyes) because 1. I do not know who he really is. 2. Despite his insistence that he is not the man I describe, I ignore him and chose to make him something he is not. 3. I misrepresent who he is to others.
The Trinity is fundamental to Christian belief. It has been so from the very beginning. A person is well within his or her rights to deny the doctrine... but they cannot be a Christian. It is a fundamental, non-negotiable belief.
Here's a humorous look at deficient views of the Trinity:
And for a more robust look at the Trinity here's a good video from the college that housed my seminary. (Undergrad level, and he uses a few imprecise words/technical terms . . . but he gets the job done!)
I also want to note that, yes, I am pretty hard-nosed on this doctrine. But we have to be. We need to worship the God Who Is... not the god our minds invent. I take no delight in condemning the views of people who hold to non-Christian beliefs about God. My hope and prayer is for them to come into repentance, submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit and experience what a transformed life led by God Almighty is really like.
I'm sure I missed something.