WCG, Irenaeus, and the Trinity


WCG Was NOT Transformed BY Truth, but FROM Truth


In the April/May 2008 edition of WCG’s Christian Odyssey, Paul Kroll wrote:


renaeus has been called the most important Christian theologian between the apostles and the third century. He was a Greek born in Roman Proconsular Asia, today southwestern Turkey, probably between A.D. 130-140…

His widely-circulated theological work in five books was titled On the Detection and Refutation of the Knowledge Falsely So Called. Written about 175-185, it exposed the heresies of various Gnostic sects, especially the most sophisticated group, the Valentinians…

Trinitarian theology

Irenaeus testified to the church’s Trinitarian understanding of God’s nature long before the councils of Nicaea (325) and Constantinople (381) produced their traditional confessional creed. “Indeed in his various statements of faith there appear all the essentials of the Creed of Nicaea except its technical terms.”

Irenaeus explained that the church “received from the apostles and their disciples the faith in one God the Father Almighty…and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, incarnate for our salvation, and in the Holy Spirit.” He also insisted that God’s word witnesses to the Son of God in the Incarnation being fully God as well as true man. “All the prophets and apostles and the Spirit itself” testify to this, he said…

Irenaeus’ legacy is his struggle to preserve and pass on the revelation of God that had been given to the apostles whom Christ chose. It’s no wonder both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches consider him among the special “saints” of the church and Catholics celebrate a memorial festival day in his honor each June 28th. 

It is astounding that WCG, the Catholics, the Orthodox, and the Protestants try to rely on Irenaeus for much, but especially this.

Irenaeus was a BINITARIAN, not a trinitarian, writer. 

Furthermore, it was heretic Valentinus (who WCG acknowledges that Irenaeus wrote against) who was perhaps the first one to attempt to claim that Christians should accept the trinity.

Notice what was what it is recorded by a one-time Catholic bishop named Marcellus of Ancyra on the nature of God around the middle of the fourth century,

Now with the heresy of the Ariomaniacs, which has corrupted the Church of God…These then teach three hypostases, just as Valentinus the heresiarch first invented in the book entitled by him ‘On the Three Natures’.  For he was the first to invent three hypostases and three persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he is discovered to have filched this from Hermes and Plato (Source: Logan A. Marcellus of Ancyra (Pseudo-Anthimus), ‘On the Holy Church’: Text, Translation and Commentary. Verses 8-9.  Journal of Theological Studies, NS, Volume 51, Pt. 1, April 2000, p.95 ).

The fact is that Valentinus was probably the first trinitarian to feign Christianity. 

Near the end of the second century (Circa 180), Irenaeus wrote this in his famous paper against heresies:

there is none other called God by the Scriptures except the Father of all, and the Son, and those who possess the adoption (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book IV, Preface, Verse 4. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Notice that he does not say that the Holy Spirit is also called God. Also notice that Irenaeus states that only the Father, the Son, and those who possess the adoption (Christians) are God (hence his writings support the idea of deification as LCG teaches it–see Deification: Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God?). This is a binitarian, not a trinitarian view.  Hence, he clearly was NOT TRINITARIAN.

At least one trinitarian scholar has acknowledged:

The language of the New Testament permits the Holy Spirit to be understood as an impersonal force or influence more readily than it does the Son…The attempt to develop an understanding of the Holy Spirit consistent with the trinitarian passages…came to fruition at Constantinople in 381…those who saw the Holy Spirit as a Person, were often heretical, for example, the Montanists (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, p. 140).

The fact is that the early church held to a binitarian, not trinitarian, view of the Godhead.

But to actually claim that Irenaeus was trinitarian when he wrote against the first one who claimed that Christians should be trinitarian, is bizarre.

But that is what happens when a group is transformed from the truth of the Bible to traditions of men.

Several articles of related interest may include:

Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the BeginningIs binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
Is The Father God? What is the view of the Bible? What was the view of the early church?
Jesus is God, But Was Made Man Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what?
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they?
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it?
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Valentinus: The Gnostic Trinitarian Heretic He apparently was the first Christ-professing heretic to come up with the idea of three hypostases.

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.