WCG: Why the Trinity is Important?


Worldwide Church of God Transformed from Truth to Fairy Tales


In his latest commentary, announced today, WCG’s J. Tkach asked and gave his answer to the following:

Have you ever wondered why the doctrine of the Trinity is so important to Christian faith?…

The fact that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three in one and one in three means that Jesus Christ and the Father are not separate Gods. And that means you don’t ever have to worry about what God thinks about you, how God feels about you, or what is going to happen to you when you die…

We know the Father loves us, because we know from the Bible that Jesus the Son loves us.

That’s why the doctrine of the Trinity is so important. It lets us know exactly where we stand with God the Father, because since the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one God, where we stand with Jesus is where we stand with the Father.

I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.


One does not need the explanation of the trinity to understand that how Christians stand with the Father is the same as they stand with the Son and that God loves them.  Also, since the trinity was not accepted by the majority of those who professed Christ until the latter portion of the fourth century, it must not have been an explanation that real Christians ever needed.

The reason that the trinity is important to people like J. Tkach is because he and some of his associates wanted to be accepted by the mainstream churches of the world, nearly all of which have accepted some version of the trinitarian doctrine.

Of course, this was not always the case even among the mainstream.

Into the fourth century, most who professed Christ accepted a binitarian (also known as Semi-Arian) view of the Godhead.  Notice what The Catholic Encyclopedia admits:

Semi-Arians…A name frequently given to the conservative majority in the East in the fourth century…

The “majority” mean most.  “Conservative” means that they were making some attempt to retain a longstanding position.  But, as will be shown later, it was also accepted by at least 400 bishops of the West (and hence it was apparently the majority view of both the East and the West in the middle of the fourth century).

The trinity was adopted in the late fourth century and became important after the Roman Emperor Theodosius decided that it would be.  Theodosius wanted unity within his empire, and to enforce it he persecuted those who did not accept his version of “Christianity” (see Persecutions by Church and State).

Catholics and Orthodox rarely seem to realize it, but the heads of their church until the middle of the fourth century were not clear trinitarians, but supported a binitarian/Semi-Arian position.

Actually notice the following which are from three Catholic-bishop approved writings:

The second Formula of Sirmium (357) stated the doctrine of the Anomoeans, or extreme Arians. Against this the Semi-Arian bishops, assembled at Ancyra, the episcopal city of their leader Basilius, issued a counter formula, asserting that the Son is in all things like the Father, afterwards approved by the Third Synod of Sirmium (358). This formula, though silent on the term “homousios“, consecrated by the Council of Nicaea, was signed by a few orthodox bishops, and probably by Pope Liberius, being, in fact, capable of an orthodox interpretation. The Emperor Constantius cherished at that time the hope of restoring peace between the orthodox and the Semi-Arians by convoking a general council (Benigni, Umberto. “Council of Rimini.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 11 Jul. 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13057b.htm>).

Pneumatomachi…The majority of this sect were clearly orthodox on the Consubstantiality of the Son; they had sent a deputation from the Semi-Arian council of Lampsacus (364 A.D.) to Pope Liberius, who after some hesitation acknowledged the soundness of their faith; but with regard to the Third Person, both pope and bishops were satisfied with the phrase: “We believe in the Holy Ghost” (Arendzen, John. “Pneumatomachi.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 11 Jul. 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12174a.htm>)

“In the Council of Rimini, 359 A.D…nearly all bishops present, 400 in number” decided “to sign a semi-Arian creed” (Kramer H.B. L. The Book of Destiny.  Nihil Obstat: J.S. Considine, O.P., Censor Deputatus.  Imprimatur: +Joseph M. Mueller, Bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, January 26, 1956.  Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 164).

So at least 400 bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, agreed to a Semi-Arian position in the fourth century.  Since Rimini is in Italy, it should be clear that a majority in the West (and not just the East) also supported binitarianism.

What about the Orthodox?  Notice that even the Orthodox bishop of Constantinople in the fourth century held to some form of Semi-Arian view:

Towards the middle of the fourth century, Macedonius, Bishop of Constantinople, and, after him a number of Semi-Arians, while apparently admitting the Divinity of the Word, denied that of the Holy Ghost (Forget J. Transcribed by W.S. French, Jr. Holy Ghost. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Hence, any who claim that the trinity is somehow essential to Christianity miss the point that even the leaders of the mainstream churches in the fourth century did not hold the trinitarian position to be essential–and actually most did not hold it until the latter portion of that century.

But binitarianism existed from the beginning according to the trinitarian-leaning scholar L. Hurtado:

…the “binitarian” pattern of devotion in which both God (the “Father”) and Jesus are objects of such reverence goes back to the earliest observable stages of the movement that became Christianity…The central place given to Jesus…and…their concern to avoid ditheism by reverencing Jesus rather consistently with reference to “the Father”, combine to shape the proto-orthodox “binitarian” pattern of devotion. Jesus truly is reverenced as divine (Hurtado LW. Lord Jesus Christ, Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. William B. Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, 2003, pp. 605,618).

Furthermore, this is consistent with the Bible.  Notice this admission from another trinitarian scholar:

The binitarian formulas are found in Rom. 8:11, 2 Cor. 4:14, Gal. 1:1, Eph. 1:20, 1 Tim 1:2, 1 Pet. 1:21, and 2 John 1:13…No doctrine of the Trinity in the Nicene sense is present in the New Testament…There is no doctrine of the Trinity in the strict sense in the Apostolic Fathers…(Rusch W.G. The Trinitarian Controversy. Fortress Press, Phil., 1980, pp. 2-3).

Thus, the trinity is not important as far as the Bible is concerned, nor was it important enough to the early church.

The trinity became important in the fourth century to those who changed the beliefs and practices of the original church that Jesus founded.

But the true church was not to change doctrine (Jude 3) nor be carried away by doctrinal changes (Hebrews 13:8-9).

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is 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?
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?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a shorter article than the Binitarian View article, but has a little more information on binitarianism.
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Should Christians be Nazarenes today? What were the practices of the Nazarenes.
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Living Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja viva do deus? Tambien Español: Cuál es fiel: ¿La iglesia católica romana o La Iglesia del Dios Viviente? Auch: Deutsch: Welches zuverlässig ist: Die Römisch-katholische Kirche oder die lebende Kirche von Gott?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

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