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Author Topic: Sabellianism  (Read 14883 times) Average Rating: 0
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Leisa
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« on: March 25, 2011, 01:53:17 PM »

Now that I understand that the Oriental Orthodox, the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholics, and indeed, the Protestants, all believe in the same unity of the two natures of Christ, I am further along then I was before.  For some reason I thought that when the Oriental Orthodox rejected the 4th Council they were rejecting the two natures of Christ however this is not the case.

So now that I have done more reading online, I realize that I am not going to convert to the Oriental or the Eastern Orthodox church because I can't.  I don't believe Christ had two natures.  Indeed, I find myself in the camp of Sabellius!

Yeah!  At least I know that my ideas have a name now, and it is Sabellianism or Modalism.  (according to wikipedia).

So I guess there isn't a church that adheres to this view that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three manifestations of one God.

And I guess this makes me a heretic.  Oh well, I can't lie, its what I believe.  I don't believe for one second that Christ was in any way human.  Its just like if I was to put on baby clothes and have someone push me around in a stroller.  Would that make me a baby? No.  So too, if God takes on flesh, does that make God a man?  No.

That's how my logic works.  But thank you everyone for your help.  If it was not for this discussion I would have never found out the formal name for my beliefs.


_____________________________________________________

This discussion was split off from a thread about the Joint Declaration:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,34519.new.html#new

Salpy




« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 08:33:18 PM by Salpy » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 02:01:44 PM »

Then you must no longer commune in any Christian Church.
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2011, 02:54:15 PM »

Its just like if I was to put on baby clothes and have someone push me around in a stroller.  Would that make me a baby? No.

God didn't "put on baby clothes", God actually became a baby.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2011, 04:45:02 PM »

leisa, why do you think Jesus Christ was not in any way human? do you think it would have been difficult for God to achieve this? or do you think it was unnecessary?
the reason we believe it was necessary is that, by taking human nature and yet never sinning, God perfected that same human nature that was spoiled by adam and eve when they rejected God and disobeyed His commandment. this tells us that humans can be united with God (in the eternal paradise). if Jesus Christ had been only divine, he would only have demonstrated that gods are very good at sinlessness. that wouldn't have helped us humans at all!
instead, he lived a perfect human life, and then because He was God, He was able to take all our sins and our mortality and destroy death by His death and resurrection. both the human and the divine natures are necessary for His death and resurrection to restore us to a correct relationship with God.

i know it's all a bit complicated, but i would like to invite you to keep searching for the truth and attending church and searching for an ever deeper relationship with God. however, if you don't believe the main Christian beliefs, it is not appropriate to take Holy Communion, as father peter said.
i hope this explains it a bit for you, when i read theology i understand it better by putting in simpler language, which sometimes helps.
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2011, 06:50:11 PM »

Dear Leisa,

I think mabsoota gave a nice and concise summary of why the dogma of Christ's complete and perfect humanity is so important to us--our very salvation hinges on it. I hope you will consider engaging with the points mabsoota has raised as well as his/her inquiry into why you hold to the beliefs you do. Please do stick around! 
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 06:23:07 AM »

i am female. mabsoota = 'happy (f)' in arabic.
i love your pic of our departed patriarch kyrillos 6th, he was a really blessed man  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2011, 01:13:41 PM »

leisa, why do you think Jesus Christ was not in any way human? do you think it would have been difficult for God to achieve this? or do you think it was unnecessary?
the reason we believe it was necessary is that, by taking human nature and yet never sinning, God perfected that same human nature that was spoiled by adam and eve when they rejected God and disobeyed His commandment. this tells us that humans can be united with God (in the eternal paradise). if Jesus Christ had been only divine, he would only have demonstrated that gods are very good at sinlessness. that wouldn't have helped us humans at all!
instead, he lived a perfect human life, and then because He was God, He was able to take all our sins and our mortality and destroy death by His death and resurrection. both the human and the divine natures are necessary for His death and resurrection to restore us to a correct relationship with God.

i know it's all a bit complicated, but i would like to invite you to keep searching for the truth and attending church and searching for an ever deeper relationship with God. however, if you don't believe the main Christian beliefs, it is not appropriate to take Holy Communion, as father peter said.
i hope this explains it a bit for you, when i read theology i understand it better by putting in simpler language, which sometimes helps.


I can not go to communion unless I have confessed my sins and so confession comes before communion. 

My logic is that even though God took on flesh, he was still God.  Just as if I conceal my true identity by dressing up as a witch or a nun, I am neither of those things, but I appear to be. So too, I think God took on flesh and appeared to be an ordinary man, however, Jesus is true God.  This is evidenced by his knowledge of everything that would happen in the future and his ability to do miracles as he so desired. 

Remember when Jesus is in the boat sleeping and the storm comes up and the apostles are freaking out?  They don't realize who they are with.  No one does!  No one can understand who Jesus is until he comes back from the dead.  And even then, its hard to believe.

God didn't become a man, he took on flesh but he didn't become a man.  If Jesus was a man then they would have drown out at sea like every other mortal caught in a storm. 

And if you mean to tell me that God worked the miracles in the human Jesus then I would also say preposterous!  That would mean that Jesus was not God (blasphemy).  If Jesus is God, which he is, and the Father is another God, then there are two Gods!  (also blasphemy).  God is one.  Which means that Jesus is the same God as the Father who is the same as the Holy Spirit.  Not three gods but one God in three manifestations.

Anyways, thats how I understand things and if people also had this understanding in the 2nd century then I'm going to stay right in the second century.  I'm not budging.
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2011, 01:28:01 PM »

leisa, why do you think Jesus Christ was not in any way human? do you think it would have been difficult for God to achieve this? or do you think it was unnecessary?
the reason we believe it was necessary is that, by taking human nature and yet never sinning, God perfected that same human nature that was spoiled by adam and eve when they rejected God and disobeyed His commandment. this tells us that humans can be united with God (in the eternal paradise). if Jesus Christ had been only divine, he would only have demonstrated that gods are very good at sinlessness. that wouldn't have helped us humans at all!
instead, he lived a perfect human life, and then because He was God, He was able to take all our sins and our mortality and destroy death by His death and resurrection. both the human and the divine natures are necessary for His death and resurrection to restore us to a correct relationship with God.

i know it's all a bit complicated, but i would like to invite you to keep searching for the truth and attending church and searching for an ever deeper relationship with God. however, if you don't believe the main Christian beliefs, it is not appropriate to take Holy Communion, as father peter said.
i hope this explains it a bit for you, when i read theology i understand it better by putting in simpler language, which sometimes helps.


I can not go to communion unless I have confessed my sins and so confession comes before communion. 

Just a note, you probably shouldn't be going to communion at all if you believe what you say you do, as it's certainly not Roman Catholic teaching by a long shot and you can't even fudge it with some creative words.

You should really go talk to your priest about what you're thinking the next time you go to confession.
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2011, 03:11:30 PM »

Why would Christ have drowned by virtue of his humanity? Did he not tell his apostles that they too could do likewise if they just had faith? Were they also God?


This seems to be putting quite the limits on what God and cannot do. Almost bordering on Deism - as you say a miracle cannot be worked through a man, by virtue of humanity.

edit: But as has been said, you should talk to your priest about this.
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2011, 04:06:53 PM »

leisa, why do you think Jesus Christ was not in any way human? do you think it would have been difficult for God to achieve this? or do you think it was unnecessary?
the reason we believe it was necessary is that, by taking human nature and yet never sinning, God perfected that same human nature that was spoiled by adam and eve when they rejected God and disobeyed His commandment. this tells us that humans can be united with God (in the eternal paradise). if Jesus Christ had been only divine, he would only have demonstrated that gods are very good at sinlessness. that wouldn't have helped us humans at all!
instead, he lived a perfect human life, and then because He was God, He was able to take all our sins and our mortality and destroy death by His death and resurrection. both the human and the divine natures are necessary for His death and resurrection to restore us to a correct relationship with God.

i know it's all a bit complicated, but i would like to invite you to keep searching for the truth and attending church and searching for an ever deeper relationship with God. however, if you don't believe the main Christian beliefs, it is not appropriate to take Holy Communion, as father peter said.
i hope this explains it a bit for you, when i read theology i understand it better by putting in simpler language, which sometimes helps.


I can not go to communion unless I have confessed my sins and so confession comes before communion. 

My logic is that even though God took on flesh, he was still God.  Just as if I conceal my true identity by dressing up as a witch or a nun, I am neither of those things, but I appear to be. So too, I think God took on flesh and appeared to be an ordinary man, however, Jesus is true God.  This is evidenced by his knowledge of everything that would happen in the future and his ability to do miracles as he so desired. 

Remember when Jesus is in the boat sleeping and the storm comes up and the apostles are freaking out?  They don't realize who they are with.  No one does!  No one can understand who Jesus is until he comes back from the dead.  And even then, its hard to believe.

God didn't become a man, he took on flesh but he didn't become a man.  If Jesus was a man then they would have drown out at sea like every other mortal caught in a storm. 

And if you mean to tell me that God worked the miracles in the human Jesus then I would also say preposterous!  That would mean that Jesus was not God (blasphemy).  If Jesus is God, which he is, and the Father is another God, then there are two Gods!  (also blasphemy).  God is one.  Which means that Jesus is the same God as the Father who is the same as the Holy Spirit.  Not three gods but one God in three manifestations.

Anyways, thats how I understand things and if people also had this understanding in the 2nd century then I'm going to stay right in the second century.  I'm not budging.



This entire post is a weird conglomeration of Sabellianism and Apollinarianism, both heresies that were condemned by the Church over 1600 years ago. Indeed there is nothing new under the sun.  Cool
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2011, 11:27:53 AM »



Schultz, I don't go to communion so there is no worries there, and I wouldn't go unless I had been to confession because of my unorthodox views they would have to be confessed and the Priest would probably tell me that I could NOT go to communion...
I am well aware of protocol.
And I would talk to my Priest if I had one but ours got taken away from us.  Some sort of scam no doubt of the Catholic church to remove all genuine traditional Priests and replace them with counterfeit modernists.
Sorry, its just that if you were Catholic you would know what I was talking about.
And so I am falling into heresy the longer I stay out of the church.  I am aware of the moral dilemma so that is why I am looking for another church but maybe I should just go back to the Catholic church I don't know?

Leisa
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2011, 11:31:48 AM »

Why would Christ have drowned by virtue of his humanity? Did he not tell his apostles that they too could do likewise if they just had faith? Were they also God?


This seems to be putting quite the limits on what God and cannot do. Almost bordering on Deism - as you say a miracle cannot be worked through a man, by virtue of humanity.

edit: But as has been said, you should talk to your priest about this.

Hi Kaatkin, can you please quote the verse you are referencing so I can look at it.

I will talk to a Priest when I find one.  I promise.

Leisa
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2011, 11:48:24 AM »


This entire post is a weird conglomeration of Sabellianism and Apollinarianism, both heresies that were condemned by the Church over 1600 years ago. Indeed there is nothing new under the sun.  Cool


Hi Paisius,
I already said I agreed with Sabellius. I think his ideas are sound.  Why do you think his views, or what we know of them anyways from his critics, are muddled and confused?  I think saying someone is fully human and fully God is confusing.  What sense can anyone make of that?  (rhetorical question)

And here is another thing that really sticks out in my mind like a broken bone in a fractured leg...... Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father. 

THAT is confusing! 

Leisa

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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2011, 12:15:22 PM »


This entire post is a weird conglomeration of Sabellianism and Apollinarianism, both heresies that were condemned by the Church over 1600 years ago. Indeed there is nothing new under the sun.  Cool


Hi Paisius,
I already said I agreed with Sabellius. I think his ideas are sound.  Why do you think his views, or what we know of them anyways from his critics, are muddled and confused?  I think saying someone is fully human and fully God is confusing.  What sense can anyone make of that?  (rhetorical question)

And here is another thing that really sticks out in my mind like a broken bone in a fractured leg...... Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father. 

THAT is confusing! 

Leisa



How old are you? (rhetorical question)
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2011, 02:14:52 PM »

Why would Christ have drowned by virtue of his humanity? Did he not tell his apostles that they too could do likewise if they just had faith? Were they also God?


This seems to be putting quite the limits on what God and cannot do. Almost bordering on Deism - as you say a miracle cannot be worked through a man, by virtue of humanity.

edit: But as has been said, you should talk to your priest about this.

Hi Kaatkin, can you please quote the verse you are referencing so I can look at it.

I will talk to a Priest when I find one.  I promise.

Leisa
I'm referencing the exact same section you are.
However I was a bit off, Jesus did not say they all could if they just have faith, however he did tell Peter that the reason he sunk was because he doubted. (Matt 14:31).
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2011, 03:33:57 PM »



Leisa
I'm referencing the exact same section you are.
However I was a bit off, Jesus did not say they all could if they just have faith, however he did tell Peter that the reason he sunk was because he doubted. (Matt 14:31).

Hi Kasatkin fan,

I was referring to Mark chapter 4:35-41 'The storm obeys Jesus' Where Jesus is sleeping during the storm.

Mark 4:40 "But he said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"

What was it that they had no faith about? 

If you know what they had no faith about then you'll understand my position.

Leisa
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2011, 03:43:12 PM »



How old are you? (rhetorical question)


Hi Minasoliman,

My point about the reference to Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father is that it demonstrates two Gods.  Two distinct Gods.
Whereas, early Jewish followers of Jesus would never have been able to conceptualize Jesus as "another" God because Jesus and the Jews were strict monotheists.  "The Lord thy God is one" for example.

So, many conceived of Jesus as the same as the Father in a different manifestation (Sabellius, modalists, monarchians etc.)



Leisa

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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2011, 04:21:30 PM »



Leisa
I'm referencing the exact same section you are.
However I was a bit off, Jesus did not say they all could if they just have faith, however he did tell Peter that the reason he sunk was because he doubted. (Matt 14:31).

Hi Kasatkin fan,

I was referring to Mark chapter 4:35-41 'The storm obeys Jesus' Where Jesus is sleeping during the storm.

Mark 4:40 "But he said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"

What was it that they had no faith about? 

If you know what they had no faith about then you'll understand my position.

Leisa

I would say they had no faith that God would protect them, but that doesn't make your sentiments make any sense, since by virtue of being fully God, fully human, Jesus could/would protect them. None of that discounts his humanity.
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« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2011, 05:18:29 PM »

Hi Minasoliman,
So, many conceived of Jesus as the same as the Father in a different manifestation (Sabellius, modalists, monarchians etc.)
Leisa
This makes the unity of the Trinity to be "God in Essence" rather than The Father. "God in Essence" is not the Person of God, and one cannot have any personal relationship with an abstract essence or divine force. As someone who used to consider himself a Taoist I know what it's like to venerate an abstract force or essence, and it is not the same as a relationship of persons in Mystery.

As for the incarnation:

"Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin" 1 Peter 4:1

God suffered in the flesh; a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks.

"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist." 2 John 1:7

My point about the reference to Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father is that it demonstrates two Gods.  Two distinct Gods.
If you believe this, you have not learned the doctrine of the Trinity.
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2011, 11:43:46 AM »



How old are you? (rhetorical question)


Hi Minasoliman,

My point about the reference to Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father is that it demonstrates two Gods.  Two distinct Gods.
Whereas, early Jewish followers of Jesus would never have been able to conceptualize Jesus as "another" God because Jesus and the Jews were strict monotheists.  "The Lord thy God is one" for example.

So, many conceived of Jesus as the same as the Father in a different manifestation (Sabellius, modalists, monarchians etc.)



Leisa



"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5)

Christ refuted their theological misconception, by mentioning a psalm:
Quote from: Matthew 22
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”
They said to Him, “ The Son of David.”
43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:
       44 ‘ The LORD said to my Lord,

      “ Sit at My right hand,
       Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’?
 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

In other words, Christ must be God, and that there is a distinction that can be understood between the Father and the Son.  It doesn't make sense that God talks to Himself. 


In addition, this is a mystery.  We indeed believe in One God.  But to describe the one God in the way you like to explain it means you are leaning on your own understanding, and not on divine revelation through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (who enlightens the Church and the Scriptures).

"I and the Father are one" John 10:30.
"He who has seen Me has seen the Father" John 14:9
"I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1

These are how we understand the Oneness of God.  Christ did not say, "I am the Father."  Christ did not say, "I am both the vine and the vinedresser."  Christ did not pray to Himself.  But in a mysterious fashion, He and the Father are One because they are One God, and no one but God truly understands this.  We can only give analogies for our weak human minds to fathom it.  For instance, the sun has an orb, light, and heat.  So is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Distinct, but one sun.  When a blind man feels the heat, he can say, "This is the sun warming me."  If a man sees rays of light shining into the world through the light, one can say, "The sun reveals the world to me."  When one looks at a circular object that cannot be seen directly, one knows the sun is there, from which the light is begotten from it, and the heat proceeds from it.

We do not however say the Father is part of God.  The Father is God.  The Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.  But the Father is not the Son, and they're both not the Holy Spirit.  This is the real mystery of the oneness of God.  It is not a simple understanding.  It is just as complex as imagining fully four or five dimensional shapes with your mind's eye.  We may only see a sliver of understanding, but we will never really understand the Godhead fully except God alone.  Polytheism believes in gods who are limited in scope and divinity completely.  Other Monotheistic religions believe in gods who are either mere forces or mere persons that send angels to have relationship with us.

When we say "persons" it is the weakness of human language in the way we describe the distinction in the Godhead.  Nevertheless, it is a term used to describe how we can have a relationship with God, since we are persons and we want an intimate personal relationship.  In addition, when we have a relationship with one person, we don't really see "love" or "intimacy" or "compassion" between the two of us.  It becomes a force between two persons.  But the Trinity reveals in clear distinction how we can be engrafted into God with the perfection of "persons".  The Word of God became man so that in man receiving the Word's own Holy Spirit enlivening him just as it eternally enlivens the Word, we, even in our human state, may become sons of the Father and partake of Divine life.  This intimacy does not exist in a one-to-one human basis.  Therefore, because of the uniqueness of the Godhead, there should be no comparison, and one should not think of two or three "Gods."
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« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2011, 02:17:20 PM »

Leisa,

Here is for you, real all attentively : http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/theology/nature_of_christ.pdf

It helped me to understand the issue of the " One Incarnate Nature of God the Word. "

May God bless you.
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« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2011, 12:14:04 PM »


I would say they had no faith that God would protect them, but that doesn't make your sentiments make any sense, since by virtue of being fully God, fully human, Jesus could/would protect them. None of that discounts his humanity.

I would say it pertains to how they viewed Jesus. 
In a way, you could say we are all in the boat with Jesus in a storm, and our emotional response to the situation (our mortality) is predicated on how we view Jesus.

You say this story doesn't discount his humanity however it was precisely his humanity that they saw.  Not his divinity.

This is the problem with God incarnating, but one that is unavoidable.
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« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2011, 12:45:11 PM »

Hi Minasoliman,
So, many conceived of Jesus as the same as the Father in a different manifestation (Sabellius, modalists, monarchians etc.)
Leisa
This makes the unity of the Trinity to be "God in Essence" rather than The Father. "God in Essence" is not the Person of God, and one cannot have any personal relationship with an abstract essence or divine force. As someone who used to consider himself a Taoist I know what it's like to venerate an abstract force or essence, and it is not the same as a relationship of persons in Mystery.

As for the incarnation:

"Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin" 1 Peter 4:1

God suffered in the flesh; a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks.

"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist." 2 John 1:7

My point about the reference to Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father is that it demonstrates two Gods.  Two distinct Gods.
If you believe this, you have not learned the doctrine of the Trinity.

We have a relationship with Jesus, and before that the Jews had a relationship with Yahweh.
The trinity is not compatible with a belief in one God.  You cannot conceive of God as three persons and also conceive of God as one person. 
If Jesus is an addition to Yahweh then you have the trinity with the Holy Spirit, but if Jesus is the same as Yahweh then there is no need for the trinity.

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« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2011, 01:06:53 PM »

We have a relationship with Jesus, and before that the Jews had a relationship with Yahweh.
The Jews had a relationship with Jesus, too. Jesus spoke to Moses saying "I AM."

You cannot conceive of God as three persons and also conceive of God as one person.  
No one is claiming otherwise. The Trinity is three Persons of one essence, having its source in the Person of the Father.

We have a relationship with Jesus, and before that the Jews had a relationship with Yahweh.
The trinity is not compatible with a belief in one God.  You cannot conceive of God as three persons and also conceive of God as one person.  
If Jesus is an addition to Yahweh then you have the trinity with the Holy Spirit, but if Jesus is the same as Yahweh then there is no need for the trinity.

Do you acknowledge that God has existed eternally with His Word and Spirit?
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« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2011, 04:07:50 PM »



How old are you? (rhetorical question)


Hi Minasoliman,

My point about the reference to Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father is that it demonstrates two Gods.  Two distinct Gods.
Whereas, early Jewish followers of Jesus would never have been able to conceptualize Jesus as "another" God because Jesus and the Jews were strict monotheists.  "The Lord thy God is one" for example.

So, many conceived of Jesus as the same as the Father in a different manifestation (Sabellius, modalists, monarchians etc.)



Leisa



"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5)

Christ refuted their theological misconception, by mentioning a psalm:
Quote from: Matthew 22
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”
They said to Him, “ The Son of David.”
43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:
       44 ‘ The LORD said to my Lord,

      “ Sit at My right hand,
       Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’?
 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

In other words, Christ must be God, and that there is a distinction that can be understood between the Father and the Son.  It doesn't make sense that God talks to Himself. 


In addition, this is a mystery.  We indeed believe in One God.  But to describe the one God in the way you like to explain it means you are leaning on your own understanding, and not on divine revelation through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (who enlightens the Church and the Scriptures).

"I and the Father are one" John 10:30.
"He who has seen Me has seen the Father" John 14:9
"I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1

These are how we understand the Oneness of God.  Christ did not say, "I am the Father."  Christ did not say, "I am both the vine and the vinedresser."  Christ did not pray to Himself.  But in a mysterious fashion, He and the Father are One because they are One God, and no one but God truly understands this.  We can only give analogies for our weak human minds to fathom it.  For instance, the sun has an orb, light, and heat.  So is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Distinct, but one sun.  When a blind man feels the heat, he can say, "This is the sun warming me."  If a man sees rays of light shining into the world through the light, one can say, "The sun reveals the world to me."  When one looks at a circular object that cannot be seen directly, one knows the sun is there, from which the light is begotten from it, and the heat proceeds from it.

We do not however say the Father is part of God.  The Father is God.  The Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.  But the Father is not the Son, and they're both not the Holy Spirit.  This is the real mystery of the oneness of God.  It is not a simple understanding.  It is just as complex as imagining fully four or five dimensional shapes with your mind's eye.  We may only see a sliver of understanding, but we will never really understand the Godhead fully except God alone.  Polytheism believes in gods who are limited in scope and divinity completely.  Other Monotheistic religions believe in gods who are either mere forces or mere persons that send angels to have relationship with us.

When we say "persons" it is the weakness of human language in the way we describe the distinction in the Godhead.  Nevertheless, it is a term used to describe how we can have a relationship with God, since we are persons and we want an intimate personal relationship.  In addition, when we have a relationship with one person, we don't really see "love" or "intimacy" or "compassion" between the two of us.  It becomes a force between two persons.  But the Trinity reveals in clear distinction how we can be engrafted into God with the perfection of "persons".  The Word of God became man so that in man receiving the Word's own Holy Spirit enlivening him just as it eternally enlivens the Word, we, even in our human state, may become sons of the Father and partake of Divine life.  This intimacy does not exist in a one-to-one human basis.  Therefore, because of the uniqueness of the Godhead, there should be no comparison, and one should not think of two or three "Gods."

You have touched on a lot of points and they are too numerous for me to respond to all of them.  And I keep getting interrupted today and have lost my concentration.
You said Jesus did not pray to himself.  And also that he and the Father are one.
If he and the Father are one who did he pray to?



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« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2011, 04:16:57 PM »

To be one does not mean to be the same.

Christ and the Father are one God, but they are diverse Persons. Therefore the Divine Person of Christ prays to the Divine Person of the Father while both are one God.
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« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2011, 04:18:13 PM »

Leisa,

Here is for you, real all attentively : http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/theology/nature_of_christ.pdf

It helped me to understand the issue of the " One Incarnate Nature of God the Word. "

May God bless you.


Thank you for the article.  It doesn't really answer my questions because it begins with the assumption that Jesus had a human nature.
I would ask the author to rewind for me to explain how they arrived at the theology of two natures.  I know it is because they say Jesus suffered.

To me, suffering is a human condition.  It is not something that God experiences.  At least, not the suffering that is the human condition.  Humans suffer because they have sin, and the consequences of that sin which is death.  God neither has sin nor does God die.

I realize that God took on flesh and that flesh was crucified by divine will.  I don't equate that with human suffering nor does it imply for me that Jesus had a human nature.  
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« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2011, 06:58:12 PM »

Humans suffer because they have sin, and the consequences of that sin which is death.  God neither has sin...
"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

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« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2011, 09:18:32 PM »

 You cannot conceive of God as three persons and also conceive of God as one person.  
We don't believe that. We believe that God is one in essence, but three in persons. Since God is one and three in different ways, then this is not a contradiction.
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« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2011, 09:36:50 PM »

John 1:1
1a - En arche een ho logos
"In [the] beginning was the Word."

1b – kai ho logos een pros ton theon
"and the Word was with the God."

1c – kai theos een ho logos
"and God was the Word."

The Word (Jesus) is God, yet separate. Similar to a body of water consisting of a spring, a river, and an ocean are all of one water, yet separate. Notice how John rejects Modalism in this one phrase.

John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.

Two natures mean he was both FULLY God and FULLY Man, without separation, but coexisting. You already acknowledge Jesus was God. Did he also eat? Poop? Sweat? Bleed? Cry? Et cetera? These are aspects of a man, not of God. He was both completely.

Bold advice: You're not the only one to consider these things in two thousand years of Christian history, they were rejected by the undivided Church for a reason. Or do you believe you can discover what they couldn't figure out?

There is a fine line between discerning the Truth of the Church and creating your OWN religion.
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« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2011, 12:46:24 PM »



How old are you? (rhetorical question)


Hi Minasoliman,

My point about the reference to Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father is that it demonstrates two Gods.  Two distinct Gods.
Whereas, early Jewish followers of Jesus would never have been able to conceptualize Jesus as "another" God because Jesus and the Jews were strict monotheists.  "The Lord thy God is one" for example.

So, many conceived of Jesus as the same as the Father in a different manifestation (Sabellius, modalists, monarchians etc.)



Leisa



"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5)

Christ refuted their theological misconception, by mentioning a psalm:
Quote from: Matthew 22
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”
They said to Him, “ The Son of David.”
43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:
       44 ‘ The LORD said to my Lord,

      “ Sit at My right hand,
       Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’?
 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

In other words, Christ must be God, and that there is a distinction that can be understood between the Father and the Son.  It doesn't make sense that God talks to Himself. 


In addition, this is a mystery.  We indeed believe in One God.  But to describe the one God in the way you like to explain it means you are leaning on your own understanding, and not on divine revelation through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (who enlightens the Church and the Scriptures).

"I and the Father are one" John 10:30.
"He who has seen Me has seen the Father" John 14:9
"I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1

These are how we understand the Oneness of God.  Christ did not say, "I am the Father."  Christ did not say, "I am both the vine and the vinedresser."  Christ did not pray to Himself.  But in a mysterious fashion, He and the Father are One because they are One God, and no one but God truly understands this.  We can only give analogies for our weak human minds to fathom it.  For instance, the sun has an orb, light, and heat.  So is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Distinct, but one sun.  When a blind man feels the heat, he can say, "This is the sun warming me."  If a man sees rays of light shining into the world through the light, one can say, "The sun reveals the world to me."  When one looks at a circular object that cannot be seen directly, one knows the sun is there, from which the light is begotten from it, and the heat proceeds from it.

We do not however say the Father is part of God.  The Father is God.  The Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.  But the Father is not the Son, and they're both not the Holy Spirit.  This is the real mystery of the oneness of God.  It is not a simple understanding.  It is just as complex as imagining fully four or five dimensional shapes with your mind's eye.  We may only see a sliver of understanding, but we will never really understand the Godhead fully except God alone.  Polytheism believes in gods who are limited in scope and divinity completely.  Other Monotheistic religions believe in gods who are either mere forces or mere persons that send angels to have relationship with us.

When we say "persons" it is the weakness of human language in the way we describe the distinction in the Godhead.  Nevertheless, it is a term used to describe how we can have a relationship with God, since we are persons and we want an intimate personal relationship.  In addition, when we have a relationship with one person, we don't really see "love" or "intimacy" or "compassion" between the two of us.  It becomes a force between two persons.  But the Trinity reveals in clear distinction how we can be engrafted into God with the perfection of "persons".  The Word of God became man so that in man receiving the Word's own Holy Spirit enlivening him just as it eternally enlivens the Word, we, even in our human state, may become sons of the Father and partake of Divine life.  This intimacy does not exist in a one-to-one human basis.  Therefore, because of the uniqueness of the Godhead, there should be no comparison, and one should not think of two or three "Gods."

You have touched on a lot of points and they are too numerous for me to respond to all of them.  And I keep getting interrupted today and have lost my concentration.
You said Jesus did not pray to himself.  And also that he and the Father are one.
If he and the Father are one who did he pray to?

Yes, like Fr. Peter said, to be one does not mean to be the same.  You use the same close-minded logic diphysites use when they want to criticize the phrase "one incarnate nature".  Christ prayed to the Father.  It's very clear.  Unless you want to believe that what he did was all a show-off act on how to pray, and that He's not really praying, then by all means, go ahead and believe such a preposterous belief, but don't forget what the Scriptures says:  "That they may be one as we are One" (John 17).  If Christ desires that you and I be one, then does that mean I am talking to me when I'm talking to you?  Do you see how idiotic that thinking is when compared to the Scriptures?

Why don't you read my post again.  If you get confused, good, because you should never overlook the fact that God is ultimately incomprehensible to begin with.  We only know what has been revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.  To go around and use human logic to describe divine logic is like asking a dog to write Shakespeare, let alone howl pentameters.
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« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2011, 03:53:17 AM »

I created this Christology diagram, perhaps it will help our friend understand how Hypostatic Union works:

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« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2011, 12:27:54 AM »

THE ETHIOPIAN CREED

We Ethiopians believe in One God, God the Father, Almighty who possesses all, Maker of the Heavens and Earth, the visible and the invisible.
We believe in God the Son, Jesus Christ, One Lord, the only begotten Son of the Father, who was with Him before the creation of the world. He is Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten not made, and, in His Divine Essence, one with His Father. All things were made by Him, and without Him nothing whatsoever was made, in Heavens or on Earth.
He came down from Heavens for our sake, for the sake of humanity, for our salvation. He was Incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the Divine Work of the Holy Spirit, and, acquiring the human soul and the human flesh from Her, became the Perfect Man.
In the days of Pontius Pilate, He suffered, was crucified, died and was buried for our sake. And He rose from the dead on the third day, ascended in glory into Heaven and sat on His Throne at the right-hand of His Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. There is no end to His Kingdom.
We believe in God the Holy Spirit. He is the life-giving Spirit who proceeds from God the Father, spoke through the Prophets, and, by the atonement of Jesus Christ, descended upon the Apostles and filled the world with His Grace. We worship and glorify Him with the Father and the Son.
We believe in the One Church of The Holy Covenant that was founded by the Word of God, Jesus Christ, initially in the Hearts of the Patriarchs, and later sustained by His Divine Messages through the Prophets, and finally brought to perfection through the Holy Spirit by His convocation of the Apostles, and where His Body and Blood is offered as Sacrifice for the Holy Communion with God, and where the Sacramental Blessings of the Holy Spirit are bestowed upon and communicated to all believers.
We believe in One Baptism for the remission of sins.
We believe in the Resurrection from the dead and the Life to come, world without end. Amen.

Source:  http://www.TheChurchOfEthiopia.org
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« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2011, 01:41:02 AM »

1. Historically there are no known modalists before Noetus (c. 190 AD) and later Praxeas and Sabellius. Tertullian affirmed Sabellian modalism was contra the ancient "Rule of Faith" which was employed in all ancient churches during the first and second centuries. After Sabellianism was condemned it essentially died out until Emanuel Swedenborg revived it in the 1700s, but it was not until the twentieth century that it mushroomed after the unitarian modalist view emerged and split the nascent Pentecostal movement.

Obviously there was far too long a period before Sabellianism appeared for it to have been the position of the earliest church in any major geographic center.

2. Doctrinal. Most heresies tend to absolutize one side of a dialectical reality. Usually the culprit is intellectual rationalism:  the need to "eff the ineffable" so as to fit in the little box we call the human brain. The Ecumenical Councils view of the Trinity, accepted by Orthodox, Latin Catholics, and all major trajectories of Protestantism for the last two millennia give a much more natural reading of passages like Jn 14:25-26 in the basic affirmation -contra Sabellianism- that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are DISTINCT AND INTERACTING. This is the more natural reading of the scriptures, e.g.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." – John 14:25-26

How must a Sabellian interpret such a passage? To say these are three "Me's" which are not distinct and interacting would result in a very strained reading of  Jn 14:, such as:

But the Helper (Me), the Holy Spirit (Me) whom the Father (Me) will send in My name, He (Me) will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I (Me) said to you...?

Christ said He must go away, but that the Father would send the Spirit. If they are not distinct, how was Christ away when the Spirit descended?

Isaiah 48:16: “Come near unto Me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the LORD God, and His Spirit, hath sent Me.”
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« Reply #34 on: May 09, 2011, 05:05:22 PM »

the need to "eff the ineffable

Great post as usual and I don't mean to write off everything, but I just love a good turn of phrase.

Nice.
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« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2011, 09:08:02 PM »

A tangent about the Ethiopian Creed was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,36021.0.html
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« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2011, 09:54:42 PM »

the need to "eff the ineffable

Great post as usual and I don't mean to write off everything, but I just love a good turn of phrase.

Nice.
Thanks
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« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2011, 11:19:35 PM »

Christus resurrexit!
 You cannot conceive of God as three persons and also conceive of God as one person.  
We don't believe that. We believe that God is one in essence, but three in persons. Since God is one and three in different ways, then this is not a contradiction.
1X1X1=1
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« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2011, 12:09:04 PM »

To be one does not mean to be the same.

Christ and the Father are one God, but they are diverse Persons. Therefore the Divine Person of Christ prays to the Divine Person of the Father while both are one God.


I do find this odd.  It reads like God prays to himself. (I don't mean you imply that, I mean that the narrative of the trinity implies it).
So the question for me is Did Jesus really pray?  It seems to me that when Jesus prays he is alone by himself (with no witnesses present) so what or how or if he prays is beyond the scope of our knowledge.  The bible says he taught others how to pray, and this I don't question, but I question if we know what Jesus was doing when he was alone.

But that is an issue I have with the text which claims in one instance that Jesus goes off by himself in private to pray, and then in the next instant claims to tell us how he was praying in private.  So, there are difficulties there.
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« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2011, 12:23:03 PM »

Humans suffer because they have sin, and the consequences of that sin which is death.  God neither has sin...
"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."



"Who knew no sin..."


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« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2011, 12:39:11 PM »

 You cannot conceive of God as three persons and also conceive of God as one person.  
We don't believe that. We believe that God is one in essence, but three in persons. Since God is one and three in different ways, then this is not a contradiction.


Mark 12:29
"And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God."

Do you think that the above statement is pertains to the essence of God?  Or the number of God?

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« Reply #41 on: May 12, 2011, 12:52:04 PM »


Mark 12:29
"And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God."

Do you think that the above statement is pertains to the essence of God?  Or the number of God?


... to the essence of God.
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« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2011, 01:39:39 PM »

1. Historically there are no known modalists before Noetus (c. 190 AD) and later Praxeas and Sabellius. Tertullian affirmed Sabellian modalism was contra the ancient "Rule of Faith" which was employed in all ancient churches during the first and second centuries. After Sabellianism was condemned it essentially died out until Emanuel Swedenborg revived it in the 1700s, but it was not until the twentieth century that it mushroomed after the unitarian modalist view emerged and split the nascent Pentecostal movement.

Obviously there was far too long a period before Sabellianism appeared for it to have been the position of the earliest church in any major geographic center.

2. Doctrinal. Most heresies tend to absolutize one side of a dialectical reality. Usually the culprit is intellectual rationalism:  the need to "eff the ineffable" so as to fit in the little box we call the human brain. The Ecumenical Councils view of the Trinity, accepted by Orthodox, Latin Catholics, and all major trajectories of Protestantism for the last two millennia give a much more natural reading of passages like Jn 14:25-26 in the basic affirmation -contra Sabellianism- that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are DISTINCT AND INTERACTING. This is the more natural reading of the scriptures, e.g.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." – John 14:25-26

How must a Sabellian interpret such a passage? To say these are three "Me's" which are not distinct and interacting would result in a very strained reading of  Jn 14:, such as:

But the Helper (Me), the Holy Spirit (Me) whom the Father (Me) will send in My name, He (Me) will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I (Me) said to you...?

Christ said He must go away, but that the Father would send the Spirit. If they are not distinct, how was Christ away when the Spirit descended?

Isaiah 48:16: “Come near unto Me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the LORD God, and His Spirit, hath sent Me.”

No known modalists before 190AD!  I would argue that there were no trinitarians in the first community because all of the disciples were Jews!

You and Minasoliman and Azurestone have all quoted from the gospel of John, the last gospel written.
I agree with you that the gospel of John makes some clear departures from the earlier gospels and I won't argue with you there.
I would be the last person to try and harmonize the gospel of Mark with the gospel of John.
If you prefer the gospel of John then that is fine and we will have a difficult time marrying some of the passages in John with the earliest gospel. Clearly I lean on the gospel of Mark.  And I am not a theologian and I won't even make an attempt to reconcile certain passages. I doubt it can even be done to be honest.  I think there are different voices and they are and will remain distinct.
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« Reply #43 on: May 12, 2011, 02:02:21 PM »

1. Historically there are no known modalists before Noetus (c. 190 AD) and later Praxeas and Sabellius. Tertullian affirmed Sabellian modalism was contra the ancient "Rule of Faith" which was employed in all ancient churches during the first and second centuries. After Sabellianism was condemned it essentially died out until Emanuel Swedenborg revived it in the 1700s, but it was not until the twentieth century that it mushroomed after the unitarian modalist view emerged and split the nascent Pentecostal movement.

Obviously there was far too long a period before Sabellianism appeared for it to have been the position of the earliest church in any major geographic center.

2. Doctrinal. Most heresies tend to absolutize one side of a dialectical reality. Usually the culprit is intellectual rationalism:  the need to "eff the ineffable" so as to fit in the little box we call the human brain. The Ecumenical Councils view of the Trinity, accepted by Orthodox, Latin Catholics, and all major trajectories of Protestantism for the last two millennia give a much more natural reading of passages like Jn 14:25-26 in the basic affirmation -contra Sabellianism- that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are DISTINCT AND INTERACTING. This is the more natural reading of the scriptures, e.g.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." – John 14:25-26

How must a Sabellian interpret such a passage? To say these are three "Me's" which are not distinct and interacting would result in a very strained reading of  Jn 14:, such as:

But the Helper (Me), the Holy Spirit (Me) whom the Father (Me) will send in My name, He (Me) will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I (Me) said to you...?

Christ said He must go away, but that the Father would send the Spirit. If they are not distinct, how was Christ away when the Spirit descended?

Isaiah 48:16: “Come near unto Me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the LORD God, and His Spirit, hath sent Me.”

No known modalists before 190AD!  I would argue that there were no trinitarians in the first community because all of the disciples were Jews!

You and Minasoliman and Azurestone have all quoted from the gospel of John, the last gospel written.
I agree with you that the gospel of John makes some clear departures from the earlier gospels and I won't argue with you there.
I would be the last person to try and harmonize the gospel of Mark with the gospel of John.
If you prefer the gospel of John then that is fine and we will have a difficult time marrying some of the passages in John with the earliest gospel. Clearly I lean on the gospel of Mark.  And I am not a theologian and I won't even make an attempt to reconcile certain passages. I doubt it can even be done to be honest.  I think there are different voices and they are and will remain distinct.

"Mark 1:1-3 – Jesus comes in the place of Yahweh

I’m not going to go all out here, but let’s take a quick look at how Mark introduces Jesus in 1:1-3.

1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”—
3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”

4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

The point to be made here is pretty simple. Mark presents John the Baptist as the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy found in Isaiah 40. The point of this prophecy is that God (Yahweh) will return to his people to save and forgive them. And before God returns he will send a messenger to announce his coming, to prepare his way. That messenger will be a voice calling in the wilderness, telling everyone to get ready for God’s return. It seems pretty clear that in the fulfillment of the prophecy the voice of the wilderness is John who, as we all know, lived in the desert and preached repentance in the light of the return of God. So that part of the prophecy is clear enough. But there’s another protagonist in the prophecy: God. Who, then, is God in the fulfillment? Who is it that comes after John? Not, strictly speaking, Yahweh, or God as understood in the Old Testament. Rather it is Jesus who comes after the voice calling in the wilderness. John announces the return of God and the audience waits in hushed expectation for the God to appear on stage. But when the curtain is finally drawn it is…. Jesus!"
Source: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?action=post;quote=569163;topic=35544.0;sesc=66ef1c77e46535c0795d61fabbe4f392
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Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
Papist
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« Reply #44 on: May 12, 2011, 02:05:10 PM »

In Mark 2:28, Christ claims to be "Lord of the Sabbath." Now it was God who "rested" on the seventh day and it was God who command that we rest and keep the Sabbath holy. If God is the Lord of the Sabbath, and Jesus claims to be Lord of the Sabbath, then he claims to be God.

In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus forgives sins of his own authority, which a perogative of God.

On this matter C.S. Lewis states,
"Then comes the real shock. Among these Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He was God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He has always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time. Now let us get this clear. Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there would be nothing very odd about it. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God, in their language, meant the Being outside the world Who had made it and was infinitely different from anything else. And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips.

One part of the claim tends to slip past us unnoticed because we have heard it so often that we no longer see what it amounts to. I mean the claim to forgive sins: any sins. Now unless the speaker is God, this is really so preposterous as to be comic. We can all understand how a man forgives offences against himself. You tread on my toe and I forgive you, you steal my money and I forgive you. But what should we make of a man, himself unrobbed and untrodden on, who announced that he forgave you for treading on other men’s toes and stealing other men’s money? Asinine fatuity is the kindest description we should give of his conduct. Yet this is what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned; the person chiefly offended in all offences. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. In the mouth of any speaker who is not God, these words would imply what I can only regard as a silliness and conceit unrivalled by any other character in history."
-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
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