This is the best explanation of why we have so much trouble understanding the Trinity. Why it is a mystery to us.
From a comment on God Cannot Die
BFHU:“For instance, it is wrong to slap my brother but it is exponentially more wrong to slap my father. The action is the same in both cases but the sin’s gravity increases greatly when it is against my father versus against my brother.”
Q.Are you kidding me? That is wrong on so many levels. You are essentially saying that the slap to the sibling is not right but its not that bad compared to the slap of the parent? Are you for real?
A. I am amazed that you think both actions are equal.
Q. Surely, a Christian such as you claim, would know that such actions are wrong in both accounts.
A. I do and I said both actions were wrong.
Q.Do you think that God operates what way?
A. Yes. I know He does
Q. There is no such thing as a big sin and a small sin in the eyes of God.
A. Where does it say that in Scripture? That is just not true. Even when I was a Protestant I heard this idea that all sin is equal in God’s eyes and I thought it was ridiculous from what I knew about God and scripture. I would rather be gossiped about than murdered. There IS a big difference between sins. It just seemed pretty disrespectful towards God to think He saw no difference in the gravity of various sins.
Q. One small sin is enough to keep you out of His kingdom—period.
A. Where does it say that in Scripture? I think God is a little more gracious and discerning than that. I think you are giving me Protestant Tradition not scripture. There is this passage:
James 2:For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.”If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
So, there is a sense in which all sin is equal.(breaking all of it) That is, that any sin, large or small ,separates us from God so that we all need a Savior. Sort of like a cut in our skin, bleeds. Both large cuts and small cuts bleed. So, in that sense, they are equal in the fact that they bleed. But, in addition to this similarity, there are cuts that are life threatening and much more deadly than others. Yet they are all equal in the sense that they all bleed. But they are unequal in the threat they pose to life.
Yes, sin, big or small, separates us from God. We need to be saved by Christ. But once we are saved we still sin. Some sin is deadly to the life of our soul and our relationship to God. Even Scripture speaks of the difference in gravity of sin. Please see these:
God calls some sin an abomination–>Here He doesn’t call every sin an abomination.
God especially hates 6 or 7 things–> Here
So it would seem that God has some pretty strong feelings about certain sins. He also especially despises people who take advantage of widows and orphans. And St. Paul gives us lists of especially serious sins that will prevent the attainment of Heaven.
Q. In His eyes they are all the same size. The guy who steals post-it-notes from work will go to the same fiery pit as the guy who molested a 10 year old girl.
A. Perhaps you could give us some scripture to back up these assertions.
Because, St. John clearly talks about two different categories of sin
1 John 5:16-17
If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
The Catholic Church names these two categories of sin Mortal (sin that leads to death) and Venial (sin that does not lead to death)
Q. What evidence is there that God exists?
A. Reason can detect sufficient evidence to guarantee the existence of God.
First, the universe in all of its complexity cannot be its own cause. It takes more faith to believe that life, order, beauty, and the scientific laws governing the universe came to be from nothing without an intelligent designer than to believe that God created everything.
Secondly, people always have and always will instinctively believe in God. They don’t have to persuade themselves there is a God, but rather they try to persuade themselves that there is no God.
Thirdly, in every man there is the sense of right and wrong. He knows that he is going against an inward voice, dictating to him a law he did not make. This voice is not our own because it is often against what we want to do. And it is not the voice of other people because it protests our behavior even when no one knows our conduct. And, its protests continue, even when we can find human voices to approve of our behavior. This voice warns us before and chastises us after a violation. This voice dictates a law written in our heart by the creator of our hearts-God.
Finally, justice demands that there be a God. Where did the universal sense of justice among men come from? We did not give ourselves our sense of justice. Injustice abounds in the world today. And, yet, we all have it no matter how hard we try to rationalize away our own injustice to others. Each human person longs for justice for themselves and suffering innocents. Why? What has this to do with “survival of the fittest”? Nothing. It has only to do with love implanted in our hearts by a God who is Love.
The scales of justice will be balanced, either in this life or the next.
She was pregnant. Her fiance would be hurt, angy, disappointed in her and he would surely cancel the wedding….he KNEW it was not his baby. All her girlfriends told her to get an abortion. That would make everything great. She wouldn’t hurt him so deeply and her parents would never know. It all sounded so simple…no one would know. But somehow she just couldn’t do it.
She had to bear the shame…the hurt in the eyes of dear Joey and her mother…it made her cry to remember the shame they all felt that day. And when all their friends and neighbors found out they just rubbed salt in the wound of shame. But, eventually the nine months passed and she gave birth to her son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger as she kissed the face of God.
Q. If you believe that Jesus is God then how can God die?
A. The Trinity, the Godhead did not die. But Jesus was God the Son, the second person of the Trinity. Jesus assumed a human nature from the flesh of Mary and became incarnate. Now Jesus was not only divine He was also human. He was God/Man. He had two natures and two wills. The God/Man, Jesus was killed on the cross but the divine nature of Jesus resurrected the human nature of Jesus after three days in the tomb.
Our souls cannot die either, only our bodies die.
Q. Jesus looks like a human being, why did he die for sins?
A. The consequence of sin is death. The sin of Adam and Eve was a sin against an infinite God and therefore it was an infinite sin. This sin could only be atoned for by a man because it was a man that sinned. But it also needed to be atoned for by an infinite being because the sin was infinite.
For instance, it is wrong to slap my brother but it is exponentially more wrong to slap my father. The action is the same in both cases but the sin’s gravity increases greatly when it is against my father versus against my brother.
No mere man, even though sinless could ever atone for an infinite sin because man is finite. So, to restore mankind to the possibility of friendship with God, God the Son assumed a human nature and atoned with his human body and His infinite divinity for the infinite sin of Adam and Eve.
Q. What I believe is: Jesus is just a messenger like Ibrahim, Moses,etc from God, for us and those before us to show us the right path.
A. Then Jesus lied when He said, “Before Abraham was born, I Am”? (John 8:58) Taking the Divine Name.
And, Jesus must have thought he was God because He also allowed Thomas to worship Him. (John 20:28) So, He must have been crazy.
If Jesus was not God then He was either a liar or a lunatic as C.S. Lewis has said.
“But let’s not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Mere Christianity Book II Ch. 3
Q. God is the creator of the whole universe everything that we see and we don’t see is created by Him.
A. I agree.
Q. He doesn’t look like His creations. He doesn’t resemble anything you see. there is nothing like Him. He is unique. The only one The eternal.
A. I agree as long as we are talking about God before the Incarnation second person of the Trinity.
But I must ask you, could God assume a human nature so that He would be fully God the Son and at the same time fully human as well? Two natures, divine and human joined hypostatically? Could God the omnipotent do that if He wanted to?
Do you believe in the Trinity? If not, some of the problem with understanding the Christian Faith lies there.
BFHU: God never married a human person.
Q. If God never married, how did he get a son?
A. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit existed from all eternity as Spirit. God the Son, co-equal and co-eternal and of the exact same divine nature as the Father and Holy Spirit, joined Himself, in time,≈2007 years ago, to a fully human nature. The God/Man Jesus was born of Mary fully God and fully man joined in the hypostatic union. He had two natures, human and divine, and two wills in ONE Person, Jesus Christ is God the Son.
We speak poetically of the Holy Spirit being the spouse of Mary but in a spiritual miraculous way only. Not in a physical, earthly way. Because Jesus was fully man, He took flesh from Mary and joined it to His divine, pre-existent divine nature.
We say in the creed that, that we believe in Christ the son of God…begotten not made… not to express birth order in time, because God is OUTSIDE of time. He resides in Eternity. The Trinity is co-existent, neither existed before the other.
When we talk about Jesus being a son and begotten it is an attempt to express that Jesus is OF THE SAME NATURE AS THE FATHER. When we make something or create something it is of a different nature than we are. Our creations are NOT human. But when we beget, we beget a being like us in nature–human.
Q. Is there another way to have a son other than marrying !!?
A. For humans we cannot have a child without sexual intercourse. In our immoral society this occurs without the benefit of marriage in too many instances. Mary the Mother of God was the only exception. She conceived by the power of God. So the answer to your question is “YES”. With God all things are possible–Mt 19:26
Q. What about Mary, isn’t she the mother of Jesus ?
Q. You believe that Mary is the mother of jesus and that Jesus is the son of God, and that God never married, however; he has a son. my question is how could this happen ?
A. In Catholic Theology Mary is the mother of Jesus and Jesus IS God so Mary is the Mother of God. However, she did not pre-exist nor did she create God the eternal Son.
How did this happen? Well, God has the power to create all things in the whole universe out of nothing so it was easy for him to create a fertilized egg in Mary’s womb and then Jesus united Himself to this human being.
Q. Why there are many contradictions about Jesus. Many Christians say that Jesus was fully God and fully man at the same time.
A. That Jesus was fully God and Full man at the same time is accurate, authentic Christian theology.
Q. Did Jesus have a human soul?
Q. If so then he was a complete human being with the Spirit of God dwelling in him. But the spirit of God in a human does not make the human into God. Notice that Barnabas was also full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 11:24).
A. Jesus was fully human and fully divine at the same time. But it is an error to believe that the Spirit of God dwelled in Him. No. HE WAS GOD. The spirit of God indwelling a human person does not make a human into God. You are exactly right about that.
When we talk about Jesus we are not talking about a human being who was conceived and born and then at some point was indwelt with the Spirit of God. Not at all. What we are talking about is the Triune Godhead, uncreated, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, etc.
Q. If we put three cakes together to make a bigger cake then we end up with a bigger cake. So when we put the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost together do we not get a bigger God than any of the individual three?
A. No. There are several analogies to try to express this but they all break down but can be helpful at grasping the Mystery of the Trinity a little bit more. Here is one:
Water- The nature of water is H2O-but it can be liquid, steam, and ice. Three yet one.
Q. Others believe that Jesus is the son of God, another group believe that God, Jesus, and the Holy spirit are one, though this calculation 1+1+1 =3 is logically and mathematically wrong.
A. No, 1+1+1= 3 is correct when we speak of the three persons of the Trinity. This God is three persons, but one God and yet each person is God. So, then when we speak of the Nature of God that all share, the mathematical equation is 1 x 1 x 1=1. This is a great mystery revealed to us by Jesus Christ. Like I said elsewhere, if we could fully understand the God of the Universe we would always suspect that we made Him up. As C.S. Lewis said,
“If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. We are dealing with fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.”
Q. Sorry for these questions, but I am trying to reach the truth, I have a lot of questions that I don’t know the answer, this is why I am here, writing this message at 04:52 in the morning!!!
I would like you to be patient and convincing in dealing with my answers!
A. I have attempted to explain as best I can a mystery. But you will not be able to believe the truth unless God gives you the gift of Faith. If you wish to find the truth please pray,
“Come Holy Spirit, and fill the heart of your child, and kindle in me the fire of Your Divine Love. Send forth Your Spirit. Oh God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit instructed the hearts of the faithful, Grant, that by the same Spirit I may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. I ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
Q. I’m an agnostic. I believe, if there is a God, how could he have produced the world and the mess we are all in now?
A. Where could the whole of Creation have come from if not from an intelligent First Cause-Creator?
First take man out of the equation and I think you will agree with me that the world is stunningly beautiful. Snow capped mountains, rugged coastlines washed by crashing waves, tropical islands, all the varied beauty of plants and animals, desert canyons carved by rivers, Grand and otherwise, redwood forests, alpine lakes, mountain meadows in flower, sunsets and sunrises, full moons rising slowly over the mountains –all of these bespeak majestic beauty to me. They are echos of the beauty that resides in and proceeds from the heart of the Creator.
The mess we see all around us is the direct result of people doing what they want to do…doing what they think is good. Our Creator gave us instructions on how to live life to its fullest and happiest. But we do not believe Him and we do it our way. They we look around at the mess we have created and blame God. He says to us, “Repent and sin no more and come and be enfolded in My loving Arms. And I will give you peace.” Our Creator knows we have not listened to Him. He knows we ignored His instructions but He is just waiting for us to come to Him so He can helps us get our lives back on track. So He can give us Joy and our Joy would be full.
Our Creator is much more gracious than a car manufacturer. Can you imagine going to the dealer and trying to get them to fix a car that you never added or changed the oil, used water instead of gasoline, did not keep the tires full of air. When asked why you did not follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the little book you said , “I didn’t like those instructions, they were too cumbersome and cramped my style. But you need to fix this car because is doesn’t work anymore and it is all your fault because you made it!” How will that car dealer respond?
Q. The Supreme Being could care less about our existence and how we handle things.
A. Then why did He allow Himself to be a helpless embryo, baby, child and human person who was crucified by His own children? He died a painful and torturous death to offer us eternal life in Heaven and save us from Hell. Why put Himself through all of that if He doesn’t care about us?
Q. If we are lost, then its are own fault. Too bad for our souls, if we indeed have one.
A. Yes, this is absolutely true. But He anxiously awaits our turning to Him. It is never too late. We can never do anything so bad that He won’t welcome us to His Love if only we will come…
Please say this simple prayer, “In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit give me the gift of faith. Amen”
The Bishop at the Athiests deathbed–>Here