Triple Play

I do not believe that God and Jesus are the same entity. I simply don’t. If Jesus was God Himself, just in human form, he couldn’t have died. And therefore there could be no true resurrection. In fact, no true sacrifice at all. And if he were God, avoiding sin would have been a piece of cake.

The reason Jesus matters so much is…well, there are a lot of reasons. But some of the chief among them are that he was the only begotten son of God, and thus had direct communion with God and came out of the starting gate clean. But at the same time, he was human, and could be tempted. He knew what it felt like to be lured by sin, yet he was also able to resist it.

A lot of people get hung up on the idea that God and Jesus are the same being, and that the Holy Spirit is the third aspect of this single being. Catholics are among the biggest bloc in this regard.

It doesn’t wash with me. I know things of Heaven are supposed to be out of the realm of true understanding by anyone still stuck on this Earth who wasn’t named Jesus but still, it doesn’t seem that there would be any point in God and Jesus being the same being.

And so, I don’t buy into the Trinity concept, at least not in that regard. Yes, there is a Trinity, but I see it like this: God the Father is the ultimate authority and power. Jesus is his right-hand man, so to speak, as well as being his son and heir to all that is God’s. The Holy Spirit, I believe, is an entity with a distinct personality and purpose to guide and edify us, but is a being that is generate as a result of God’s spirit being in humans to a small degree.

The three of them serve important roles, but they are not the same being, and ultimately, I believe that Jesus and the Holy Ghost answer to God.

This is important, I think, because each is to be respected and approached in different ways. Appreciated and thanked for different reasons. Leaned on more in one case and less in another. We need all three of them.

But they ain’t the same being.

26 thoughts on “Triple Play

  1. Seda

    Well, it’s true Jesus ain’t God.

    I don’t really think God is some distant Dude in the sky, either. I’m not a Christian Scientist, but I love the Christian Science synonyms for God – Life, Love, Truth, Spirit, Soul, Principle, and Mind. I’d add Beauty. Maybe there are others that fit really well, I don’t know. Point is, like you say, Jesus is not one of them.

    Okay, I’m not Christian either, of any stripe, but what makes Jesus special to me is not that he was god or son of god or whatever, it’s that he was the Christ – the example of humankind as the image of God (see synonyms above). So was Gandhi, though Jesus one-upped him. And Buddha, and…

    Hope you don’t find this post offensive. It’s not intended that way. Just agreeing with the basic principle of your post…

  2. Deacon Blue

    Big Man, don’t get me wrong. I don’t deny the divinity of Jesus one bit. That he was born sinless and remained so. Or that he wields full power and authority in Heaven and on Earth.

    But God cannot die and God cannot sin. If Jesus was simply God with a new face, just strolling down to Earth, how could he have died? And what struggle was living a sinless life?

    And how could God have forsaken himself on the cross?

    Everything about Jesus points to him being FROM God and wielding the power of God, but being a separate being from God.

    So, I’m not sure where I’m spouting what might seem heresy. What I’m taking about is the insistence that God and Jesus are the very same being, which is nonsensical, I think. There would be no purpose in having Jesus if Jesus was God in disguise. Jesus was a human filled with the divine, who didn’t compromise any of that divine spark by giving into sin. Who died for us.

    The Holy Spirit has always been more of a mystery to me. But given that he is referred to as a separate being, a helper sent by Jesus for us, I find it hard to consider the Holy Spirit as coequal with God and Jesus in a literal sense…though the Spirit seems to be an infinitely powerful facilitator of change.

    I do believe that Jesus is co-equal with God in the sense that he has ascended to sit as redeemer and in the judgment seat, and probably wields every bit the power that God does, but I still don’t think Jesus IS God.

  3. societyvs

    The Trinity is not a concept that comes from the bible whatsoever – of this I am 100% sure. Judaism has no recollection of such a term being used for God from the Torah, Writings, or Prophets…it just doesn’t exist in those 39 books…and of that they are dead sure.

    The NT writings are based on those original 39 books – no one disputes that point at all. If this is so, then the NT writings are based on a concept of God that is ONE (no others) – therefore the concept of One God exists in the NT also (unless Jewish writers are playing fast and loose with a concept they believe in – or they were not Jewish writers at all).

    Fact is, the only thing that becomes of dispute here is Jesus himself as the Christ – the role of the messiah. Judaism has never held the messiah to being equal with God (fact) – even with the supposed OT passages Christianity uses as proof texts. Therefore the messiah does not need to be equal with God to have some strong meaning to this faith…this is where Christianity falters about this concept.

    Christianity wagers – if Jesus ain’t God then Jesus ain’t the messiah – which is thiking, not based on the texts, but on later theologies and thoughts (after the fact). So in essence, it’s thinking based on a ‘straw man’ arguement – Christianity creates the straw man and then argues from that as if the straw man were set in stone.

    As per the Holy Spirit being a distinct entity – I doubt it myself. This same entity is throughout the OT texts and Judaism has never arrived at this being a 2nd being of God – one must ask why? If this 2nd being thing was ‘obvious’ Judaism would not have overlooked it. It’s another re-invention of God made by early Christianity – for some odd reason – the Spirit of God is different than God (The Spirit). I call it splitting hairs – and really – splitting God.

  4. Deacon Blue

    Seda, I’m not offended by your post, though I do disagree.

    Jesus was divine I believe, and is the bridge between humans and God…the only one who truly understands God and knows what it means to be human as well. At the same time, I do agree with you that he was the ultimate expression of God in man…of being what we truly should be.

    As for God Himself, I don’t see Him as some distant dude in the sky…He is everywhere, around us and inside us. I’m sure the core of Him is “somewhere” but His presence touches everything.

  5. Deacon Blue

    Thanks for the input, SocietyVs.

    I don’t think we can always fall back strictly to Judaism for support of the new covenant because I think that God did intend for a lot of things to change once the bridge between Him and humans was restored…once the mistake of Adam was repaired with Jesus. So I don’t think it’s impossible for the Holy Spirit to be separate…Jesus did say he would sent that helper to us, and that suggests something distinct from God somehow.

    Fact is that a lot things in the spiritual realm are well beyond our ability to grasp. So the connections and separations are sometimes hard to fathom…which is why the debates will continue…

  6. Big Man


    The same being, I can see your point. But, I think that if you divide God and Jesus into two beings, you have a world where there is more than one God, or all powerful spirit. That’s a problem.

    I see Jesus as a separate facet of God. Another face, if you will. Same powers and abilities, but because of the awesomeness of God’s being, it had to be broken down for us to understand his plan to a certain degree.

    As far as whether it was hard for him not to sin, when I accepted the all-powerful nature of God, I accepted that he was able to do things that don’t totally make sense to me as a mere human. So, if he says he can retain his divinity and also deal with all the temptations of mankind, well I guess I just accept it. After all, we are created in his image…

  7. Big Man


    The deity of Jesus is explained in several New Testament books.

    Obviously, the amount of credence you give those accounts depends on whether you agree with the conclusions but those explanations exist.

    Clearly, the deity of Jesus is the main point of contention for many folks, even folks who claim to be Christians.

  8. Big Man

    In fact, I would argue that Jesus’ claim to be the Messaih was seen as false because he also claimed to be an equal to God, and because he failed to establish an earthly kingdom with Jews in control. It was those two failures that led Jews to discount him.

  9. Deacon Blue

    I understand the metaphysical angle you’re coming from, Big Man, which is why I do acknowledge that the spiritual world is more complex than we can fully grasp with our limited carnal/corporeal abilities. I guess the big thing for me is that Jesus always referred to himself as a distinct being. He said that he did the will of his father in heaven and that he was returning to his father in heaven. I suppose it’s perhaps possible that he “dumbed things down” for the apostles but at the same time, he laid some pretty heavy stuff on them toward the end of his earthly days and after the resurrection.

    And I find myself wondering, given that God and Jesus are both so into speaking the truth…why wouldn’t Jesus have said, “I am God made flesh” or “I am part of the Lord God, come to Earth as flesh to be sacrificed for the sins of all.” Instead, he always deferred to God.

    And so that’s why I think Jesus has a ton of power, but still answers to God in the sense that he serves God will and purpose faithfully.

    But that isn’t to say that I’m right. And your take my very well be closer to reality. And it may be that you and I aren’t really so far apart, and are just using different images and words.

    In any case, Jesus is surely Lord and Messiah, Redeemer and Savior, and he’s way more powerful and holy than I am, so I give him no lack of respect or devotion…him or the Father. 😉

  10. Deacon Blue

    Of course, not to make things more complicated…

    …oh, hell, of COURSE I’m into making things more complicated…

    But anyway, one of the things my father in law often preached (and he also believes in both the humanity and deity of Jesus, pretty close to the view I’m spouting off on) that Jesus was the Word of God made flesh.

    The Old Testament does make reference to the Word of God being a form of power itself…God speaks and things exist. The “word” is part of God. If indeed Jesus was God’s Word incarnate, that plays into both the notion of Jesus as separate, but also plays into the notion of Jesus as an aspect of God.

    Like I’ve said, it gets confusing with these metaphysical things.

    But whether separate beings or separate aspects, I’ll continue to address them as individuals, since I really owe separate things to each of them. To God, I owe my very existence. To Jesus, my thanks for his atoning sacrifice. And to the Holy Spirit for uttering to Heaven what I cannot, and for guiding me in important ways. And to all three, of course, I owe them my faith.

    LOL…I don’t know why so many atheists think religion is the province of idiots…damn, this stuff is more complicated that the most convoluted philisophical schools of thought. 😛

  11. Deacon Blue

    I don’t see how. The Word was with God, and the Word became flesh. That still denotes a certain level of distinctness. One could argue that it was the Word of God that entered into Mary’s womb to grow into the baby that would be named Jesus. I don’t see anything in John’s gospel that declares Jesus and God to be the exact same entity.

  12. TitforTat

    Mystery. Yet so few people will just accept that fact. Instead they dance the dance of thinking they have the “right” take on it. Its so much easier dealing with just the creation without having to add the creator. But who am I to say youre………….. 😉

  13. Aro

    1. In the beginning, the Word already existed. The Word was with God and the Word was God.

    18. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son is himself God, and is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

  14. Deacon Blue


    I’m actually less interested in being “right” than in trying to ferret out things that seem pretty “wrong” to me. I’ve actually never much thought I had the perfect take on anything and don’t expect that I ever will.

    Besides, I find intellectual exercises entertaining, even in the spiritual realm.



    I get what you’re saying, but still there is a sense that the Word went out from God. I hate to bring God down to our level as a point of understanding, but I sort of see the Word as acting in the role of the sperm for creating Jesus. God didn’t have sex with Mary (at least I wouldn’t think so) but I think He did send a part of Himself into her to facilitate the creation of Jesus. I don’t think he just magically snapped a fetus into existence; I suspect Jesus grew from microscopic size all the way up like any other child.

    Also, John wrote his gospel from a very, very, very spiritual angle, and not a more historical one like the other gospel authors. As such, much of what he is saying is indicative of spiritual connections. In a sense, we are all OF God and part of God, aren’t we? Jesus was his son, and sole heir to the kingdom of God, and for all intents and purposes acts in God’s role.

    At least that’s what makes sense to me. Much like a crown prince acts with the king’s authority, even though the king is still alive and officially calls all the shots.

    In any case, I don’t actually claim to have an answer here…but Jesus is more often portrayed as referring to himself as an individual and as the son of God, so I still see a distinction between him and God.

  15. Perry Robinson

    I think you are confusing two categories here. The doctrine of the Trinity does not say that Jesus is God if by that term (God) is meant the person of the Father. The doctrine states that Jesus is a different and distinct person while also the same being as the Father. God is three as to person and one as to nature. So to say that Jesus is God is to say that Jesus fully shares the divine nature. To be distinct in person is not necessarily to be separate in being or nature.

    I am not sure why God could not have died. Is death too powerful for God to take on directly? Death doesn’t of itself imply annihilation so God dying means that God experiences and participates in our death, not that he ceases to exist. And if Jesus isn’t God then this means that the salvation that is accomplished by a creature is not eternally secure and can be undone by a creature.

    Likewise temptation only imply that Jesus as a divine person knows what it is like to struggle with our corrupted desires as motivated by the powers of sin and death, yet he personally does no sinful act. (2 cor 5:21, heb 4:15) I don’t see a reason to think that on that basis the temptation wasn’t genuine. I think you confuse efficacy with ease.

  16. Aro

    Blue, I’m just quoting scripture to ya, dude. Anything else is pure conjecture and should be qualified as such.

    I don’t get the whole trinity thing either. Frankly I’m not too terribly concerned about it. I pray to the Father, just like Jesus did, and recognize a distinction between Jesus and Yahweh, but if the Bible says they are one and the same, then they are. I’m going to trust John’s judgement on this one.

    We may find eventually that Christ and God are two different entities, but this does not effect things here too much.

  17. Deacon Blue


    Thanks for the insights, man. Good stuff.



    I agree with you that it doesn’t affect much here on Earth, and I’m not mad if you toss scripture my way to keep me on my toes.

    With this post, I don’t seek to find any clear answers. Nor do I have a set of iron-clad opinions I will stand and shout for without backing off. Sometimes, it’s just good to stir up the pot and encourage some discussion to keep things lively. 😉

  18. Seda

    This post did inspire a good discussion, and the temptation to jump in is significant. Nevertheless, I think I’ll resist. I’ll just stir up a lot of angst with my heresy, and piss people off without doing any good. I enjoyed it, though! :-)

  19. societyvs

    “The deity of Jesus is explained in several New Testament books” (Big Man)

    That is debateable. There are a few legit places where Jesus is deified – I agree – but to think the whole NT literature will back that is facetious. 27 book and letters do not uniformly line up and defend this point – especially since this point is only in a few verses in the whole 27 pieces of work.

    What I find very interesting – if this is such a big point of the gospels or the letters – why is it not just openly said? Why do the writers just not have Jesus saying ‘ I am God’ – plain and simple – clearing all confusion on such a subject. This never happens and probably for good reason – because he wasn’t and to claim such is breaking the first commandment.

    “In fact, I would argue that Jesus’ claim to be the Messaih was seen as false because he also claimed to be an equal to God, and because he failed to establish an earthly kingdom with Jews in control. It was those two failures that led Jews to discount him.” (Big Man)

    Jesus claims to God-hood more than erase him from being the Messiah – they also brand him a heretic. That claim alone can be found nowhere in prophecies about the messiah according to Judaism (and never was a part of the ideology of the messiah). So how come it happened? In walks the Gentile influence on scripture…Greek and Romans and their crazy pantheon of godly ideas.

    I think we are debating something we have no proof for – namely the trinity idea (non-existent in scripture) and an idea that finds its basis not in Tanakh scripture (Messiah as God) but in Greco-Roman theology.

  20. societyvs

    “I don’t think we can always fall back strictly to Judaism for support of the new covenant because I think that God did intend for a lot of things to change once the bridge between Him and humans was restored…” (Blue)

    That’s where this gets interesting – why not? 39 books prior to Gentile interpretation and a whole recorded history of their teachings – about the same 39 books Christianity uses as basis for the NT…I cannot see why this is not the very plausible and honest route to take – if we need to back-track?

    God intended things to change after the messiah came – and I can agree to a certain degree (ie: Gentile inclusion into the covenant) – but to think interpretation would do a 180 in the process is truly asking a lot. One could say – from a brief over-view of Judaism and Christianity – this is exactly what has happened – so much so – even God has changed in the process.

    Some of this just smacks of colorful theology being included into Judaic theology – foreign Gentile theology to be perfectly honest (Greco-Roman). Christianty makes no qualms about admiting it is a branch off of Judaism (even the writers make this conclusion) – but it took some liberties with something it both divorced and changed in the process. Classic examples are in question here – Trinity and Jesus (messiah) as God. One only need note the pantheon of Roman Gods and Ceaser as God’s son to see what biblical writers are expounding about (or the possibility they could assume).

    I think there was some bleeding over of theology from Gentile cultures that make Christianity very unique – which isn’t bad – and they interpreted things in some very strange ways. For me, it gets a little dishonest when the changes include drastic things that both effect the Torah ideas and in essence – change them (and then claim to have not).

  21. Deacon Blue

    I think Judaism is the foundation, but the fact is that the Old Testament points to a schism of millennia upon millennia between humans and God.

    What was the arrival of Jesus for, and his sacrifice and resurrection, if not to usher in the beginnings of a new relationship and a new kingdom of Heaven?

    At least that’s how I see it.

    Jesus didn’t overturn the old ways. He honored them. But at the same time, we were told time and again that things are also changing. He pointed us to new ways of looking at things and more important things to focus on than the law in a strictly literal and ritualistic fashion.

    I don’t deny that Gentile things changed the face of early Christianity.

    But we are not simply continuing Judaism. There is a strong and good foundation in there, but it wasn’t meant to carry us through to the end, because it is rooted in a tradition of separation between humans and God, whereas the New Testament era ushers in the relationship that can exist between humans (collectively and as individuals) with God as FAMILY and not SERVANTS.

    That’s all I’m trying to get at, and if I don’t operate from the idea that the apostles speak with Jesus’ intent and authority, then what I am I saying about Jesus? That he wasn’t really the son of God? That he didn’t do miracles and have the power to forgive sin? That he was just another showpiece in a drama and all the old ways still apply in their exact same manner?

    I believe there was a change. Not that God changed or that all the rules changed but that the RELATIONSHIP changed, and with that there is a change in the way that things will bear out, and a different face of God is revealed to us than the one that we could only see when he was LORD and KING and not also FATHER.

    That’s my two cents, anyway. 😉

  22. societyvs

    “I think Judaism is the foundation, but the fact is that the Old Testament points to a schism of millennia upon millennia between humans and God.” (Blue)

    Schism – I think we see a constant backing away from the statutes of the law of God – but as for schism between humans and God – I don’t know about that. God seems to have a good track record of keeping in touch with these people – from prophet to prophet – king to king – judge to judge…so much so Christianity is grown from that soil.

    “He pointed us to new ways of looking at things and more important things to focus on than the law in a strictly literal and ritualistic fashion.” (Blue)

    Is this what you think Judaism was like up and until Jesus arrived? I know for a fact it wasn’t – not for the prior 500+ years according to the Jewish rabbinical tradition that surfaces after Nehemiah (and that re-building of the temple). The law was seen as a ‘bottom line’ type thing – where killing someone for any crime was very rare – 1 person says a death in every 70 years seems a little excessive (and would call that a bad judge).

    “But we are not simply continuing Judaism. There is a strong and good foundation in there, but it wasn’t meant to carry us through to the end, because it is rooted in a tradition of separation between humans and God” (Blue)

    If this is true – then isn’t Judaism still seperated from God? And if this is so, how do we explain some of the very enlightened rabbi’s coming out of that religion?

    “and a different face of God is revealed to us than the one that we could only see when he was LORD and KING and not also FATHER.” (Blue)

    Worth noting here – prior to Jesus the term ‘Father’ for God was being used in Jewish circles.

    Regardless, if this is not a continuation of Judiasm (which I agree it is not) then how much of Judaism is valid to a Christian person? None? Some? We are sharing 39 books – so how much of what they do speaks to us? Or is changed so much to make the face of Christianity look nothing like the face of Judaism (which has taught from the 39 books for like a 1000 years longer than Christianity)?

    Think about it – attractive religion in the midst of the ‘known world’ that many people may have been interested in…then comes Paul with his allowing of the ‘known world’ in. Changes the dynamic of knowledge involved in the constructing of this new faith (Christianity) – with no direct line to the rabbinic teachings and synagogues (the whole background) – the faith has to be built upon – so they lean away from Judaism to Gentile thought (having no real recourse) – building a new thing based on majority Gentile ideas.

    So we see a ‘son of God’ ideology come out – to take away from Caesar worship. The messiah becomes a literal God in another pantheon of beings – this time a Trinity – where God is a Father, Jesus is his son, and the Holy Spirit functions as the spirit of this Being – to stay somewhat connected they call it ‘One’ – but the logic they use fails for the most obvious of reasons. Jesus is found to be against Jewish authority of all kinds (and lets not forget the Romans – whom he has a kinder relationship with for some reason – even Pilate) – from Herod, to Pharisees, to Sadducee’s, etc…he’s a rebel for Gentile inclusion.

    But for all this explanation – the painting of Judaism in a bad light in the NT is not accidental…it’s meant to serve a purpose. It is known that Judaism was causing quite the stir with Roman occupation and did not accept this new form of Judaism (Christianity) – so what did Christians do…they severed their ties. Why be persecuted along w/Jewish uprisings? Easy way to do that – make them look so uniquely different in your writings so as to not cause any confusion. People would not mistake Christian communities for Judaic ones after a while – no synagogue, no temple, no rabbi, no same rituals…plus they were kicked out of synagogues anyways. So what did they do? They fought back…and denied Judaism as it’s founder – and found a way to usurp it – the messiah.

    Now I know on some of this I am opiniating – true – but most of it lines up with historical accounts from within Judaism – something most of are not privy too nor look into with much depth. But I live in a city and know how easy it is for some original idea to be borrowed and adopted. It is plausible – Christianity adopted a lot of stuff and was on the right path (with Peter, James, and John) but then veered off centre after Paul and the divergence from Israel.

  23. Deacon Blue

    When I say it’s not a continuation of Judaism I mean more specifically that it’s not a continuation in the exact same form…and the Judaism I refer to is the Judaism from which Jesus emerged…something that is different from much of Judaism today.

    What came from Jesus and his apostles is the next step, so to speak. It was the continuation of the evolution of things.

    Because let’s face it, Judaism itself didn’t follow just one track, did it? There were multiple convenants, changing relationships with God. Does that mean the later version of Judaism were wrong? No. Abraham. Noah. Moses. David. Jesus. There have been multiple steps.

    I’m not saying that Judaism is immature or wrong per se. I’m not into denigrating other religions. But I will still maintain that Jesus is the messiah. He wasn’t what many Jews of his time expected in a messiah (nor what many Jews today would expect), but that’s what he was…and is.

    And I don’t see Judaism painted in a bad light in the NT. I see many of the Jewish leaders and priests painted in a bad light. And I would argue that many high-profile Christian leaders need to be painted in a worse light today than many of them are. I have never read the NT as an indictment of Judaism, and I still don’t see it as such.

    And the idea that Christians fit in better with the Romans? Um, first off, they didn’t have much trouble crucifying the man on whom Christianity was based. I seem to recall some Christians being tossed to the lions. So the notion that early Christians were trying to kiss up to the Romans somehow by distancing themselves from Judaism doesn’t fit for me. And as to whether or not Paul usurped the Gospel…well, there is going to always be a lot of debate around that. He’s a controversial figure. But I don’t see that anything he did particularly ingratiated Christianity to the Romans.

    Whatever relationship developed between Christians and Rome was, I believe, in spite of Paul and the earlier apostles, not because of some deliberate and concerted attempt by the earliest church leaders and founders to mold their faith into something more palatable and save their skins. They put themselves in danger of harm from both Jews AND Romans with what they did and what they professed.

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