The Long History of Opposition

 Golden Banner News Paper

Column Title: Let’s Think Together

Article Title: The Long History of Opposition

Columnist: Cleb B. Calimutan

 

 

The Roman Catholic Church would celebrate this month of June the Trinity Sunday but like any other doctrine there are a lot of oppositions a very long line of Heretical Positions. But the truth always prevail, even how seemingly powerful the enemy is still truth and good prevails in the end.  The first of those were very ostensible in opposing the doctrines:

 

Monarchinism

            1st Century – Judaic heretics, Cerenthus and the Ebionites held strongly  the doctrine that there

is only  one Person in God and denied the divinity of Jesus Christ.

            Late 2nd Century – Mornchianism taught that there is only one Person in God.

a)      Dynamic or Adoptionist Monarchianism – Taught that Christ is a mere man, even though born in a supernatural manner from the Holy Ghost and of the Blessed Virgin. The principal exponents of the Doctrine was Theodotius of Byzantine who brought the idea to Rome and was excommunicated by Pope Victor (189-198); Paul of Samosta, Bishop of Antioch who was deposed a heretic  in the Synod of Antioch (268) and Bishop Phontius of Sermium who was deposed in the Synod of Syrmium (351).

The Defenders of the Faith were: St. Irenaeus and Tertullian

b)      Patripassianic or Modalist Monarchianism – accepts the divinity of Jesus Christ but admits only one Person in God by teaching that the Father had become man in Jesus Christ and had Suffered. Few of those who taught this idea was Noetus of Smyrna and Praxeas from Asia Minor.The Defenders of the Faith were: St. Hyppolitus and Alexandrian Bishop, Dionysius the Great.

Subordinationism

336 A.D.  – Alexandrine Presbyter Arius, taught that the Logos or the Word is created in time

and does not exist in eternity. This doctrine was condemned in the Council of Necea (325). This Council drafted a creed, which confesses Jesus Chrsit to be the Son of God, His generation from the Substance of the Father, His true Divinity and His consubstantiality with the Father.

360 A.D. – Macedonianism (Pneumatomachi – combators against the Holy Spirit) a group

founded by Semi-Arian Bishop Macedonius. The Defenders of the Faith: St.  Athanasius at the General Council of Constantinople.

Tritism

565 A.D. – Johannes Philopunos, according to him, the Three Divine Persons individuals of the

God-head, as three men are three individuals of the species of man.

            1120 A.D. – Roscelin, A Canon of Compiegne, was a nominalist, according to him The Divine

Persons were three separate realities which are connected with one another morally only. The Defenders of the Faith: His teaching was combated by St. Anselm of Canerbury, and condemned at the Synod at Soissons.

 

            1154 A.D. – Gilbert of Poiters who taught that there are Three Persons plus God Head.

The Defenders of the Faith: Bernhard of Clairvaux, the teaching was condemned in the Council of Rheims.

1202 – A.D. Abbot Joachim of Fiore, conceived the unity of the Three Divine Persons as a

collective unit. The Defenders of the Faith: Peter Lombardus, the teaching was  condemned by the

Lateran Council in 1215 A.D. 

            1873 – A.D. Anton Gunther he taught that the Three substances of the Divine Persons are

trebled.

Protestantism

1524 -Martin Luther in some of his articles (Schmalkadic Articles P.I Art.1-4) he denied the

Dogma of the Trinity.

1604 – Socianism, established by Faustus Sozzine – denied the plurality of the Divine Persons,

declared that Jesus is a mere man, and the Holy Ghost is an impersonated divine force.  

However it will always remain: “In God there are Three Persons, the Father, The Son and the Holy Ghost.

 

Each of the Three Persons possesses the one (numerical) Divine Essence.” (De fide.)  

 

            Amidst the long struggles of the Church there were also heroes of faith who died defending the truth taught by Jesus and His disciples. And the Church were able to preserve the sanctity of Her doctrine and the Church continues to sail preaching the word of God in the history of mankind for it is the mission entrusted by Jesus as he said:

“Going therefore, teach ye all nations, Baptising them in the Name of the Father and of The Son and of the Holy Ghost.” (Mt.28:19)

 

A CATHOLIC ANSWER TO IGLESIA NI CRISTO [INC] ATTEMPT AT DISPROVING THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST

A CATHOLIC ANSWER TO IGLESIA NI CRISTO [INC] ATTEMPT AT DISPROVING THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST

by Prof. Ramon Gitamondoc, CFD National Pres.

 

 
The Transfiguration of the Lord revealing His Divinity

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).

I have read a post in the Splendor of the Church Ring of Fire Blog which contains arguments from an INC member refuting some verses which prove the divinity of Christ.  I personally took up the cudgel of answering these objections for several reasons.  Firstly, because as a Catholic I believe in the foundational doctrine of Christianity regarding the divinity of Christ and as St Peter admonishes “be ready always to satisfy every one that asks you a reason of that hope which is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).  Secondly, I find the arguments put forward worthy of refutation because by the manner it was given it seem that the objector is confident that he has successfully refuted the Catholic position.  Thirdly, because the case at hand illustrates the typical strategy used by the INC of quoting and interpreting isolated passages in order to prove their point.  The original post was partly written in English and partly in Tagalog.  In this response, I paraphrased his objections in order to make it more understandable and decent.  Let us now take a look at INC arguments.

 

INC objection:  Whoever is a child of God does not continue to sin, for God’s very nature is in him” (1 John 3:9 TEV).  Are Christians also God in this particular verse? 

From the way the question is posed it is safe to conclude that the INC is aware that there are scriptural passages which may be interpreted as Jesus having the nature of God [i.e., Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:6].  In order to evade this the INC attempts to make a false analogy:  If as 1 John 3:9 which says that the very nature of God is in the believer and this does not ipso facto make him God, so also those passages which speak about Christ having the nature of God do not prove that Christ is God.

The text cited above is rendered differently in other reputable bible versions:  “Whosoever is born of God commits not sin: for his seed abides in him” (Douay Rheims); “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him” (KJV); “No one who is begotten by God commits sin, because God’s seed remains in him” (NAB); “Those who have born of God do not sin, because God’s seed abides I them” (NRSV).  If we use these renderings of the verse, the force of the INC objection is significantly diminished.  Of course, the INC will stick to the TEV rendering of this verse since this will best serve their purpose.  The INC is not only selective in their quotation of scriptural passages but also in the bible versions they will use in quoting a particular passage.  They do not usually go by the rules of textual criticism in determining whether a particular verse is translated accurately or not since to them the highest criteria for judging the accuracy of a text is whether or not it subscribes to their man-made doctrines which are constructed upon isolated proof texting.  It then becomes apparent that they are not mostly concerned with accuracy of their alleged proof as much as it’s effect to the unwary audience.     

Setting aside the issue on which is the more accurate rendition of this particular verse, this quotation from the TEV will not at all help the INC cause.  The fallacy of the INC lies in the fact that although it is said that God’s very nature is in the believer (1 John 3:9 TEV) and it is also said to be in Christ but each has it in a different sense.  God’s very nature is in the believer by way of partaking or sharing of the divine nature “By whom he has given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).  This partaking of the divine nature, which in Catholic theology is called the infusion of sanctifying grace into our souls, is the formal principle which makes us sons of God and objectively holy and pleasing before Him.  The fact that Jesus is called Son of God and we are also called sons of God does not put us in the same category as Jesus.  We are made sons of God by way of adoption, “you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father). For the Spirit himself gives testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God.  (Romans 8:15-16).  On the contrary, Jesus is Son of God by nature, “No man has seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the Bosom of the Father, he has declared him” (John 1:18; “For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:5-6).  However, the INC fails to make this all-important distinction which is a manifestation of a very shallow theology, if any.

INC objection:   If you believe that Jesus is God based on Colossians 2:9 because it says that “For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead corporeally”,will you also say that Christians are God since we can also read that “All the fullness of God might be filled in them (Ephesians 3:19 KJV)?

I would like to point out to the readers that this is typical INC strategy.  They will quote bible verses out of context, formulate a false analogy and build their doctrine out of it.  In response to this let’s do a contextual reading starting with verse 17 to 19 which reads:  “That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts: that, being rooted and founded in charity, you may be able to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, to know also the charity of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.”  St Paul here teaches that the way to comprehend and gain a deep insight into the mystery of Christ is through sanctity [that is our souls is rooted and founded in charity] which is the way of the saints.  Christ who dwells in our hearts also enables us to grow ever deeper into his own mystery until we are filled unto the fullness of God [that is the measure of knowledge which God wants to reveal Himself to us].  In the same Epistle St Paul said:  “Untilwe all meet into the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto themeasure of the age of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).  If we observe carefully St Paul substituted Christ [in Ephesians 4:13] for God [in Ephesians 3:19].  The “fullness of God” is equated with “fullness of Christ” in relation to the knowledge of the Son of God given to us.  Thus St Paul does not equate Christ with us but he equates Christ with God.

Let us now turn our attention to Colossians 2:9 which reads: “For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead corporeally.”  Once again, it is important to read this passage in its context.  In his Epistle to the Colossians, St Paul was warning the believers against men who practice superstitious worship paid to angels or demons by offering sacrifices to them from which they derive hidden knowledge [gnosis].  In so doing they also denied the supremacy of Christ who is the head both of angels and men.  In order to condemn them of their pretensions and warn the believers St Paul wrote: “Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit: according to the tradition of men according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ. For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead corporeally. And you are filled in him, who is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:8-10).  St Paul here upholds the supremacy of Christ [who is head of all principality and power] by asserting his divinity though he appeared in form of man [in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead corporeally].  Thus by an examination of the context of the passage it becomes crystal clear that this passage supports the divinity of Christ.  But context is foreign to INC interpretation of key Biblical passages. 

 

 

INC objection:  If you [Catholics] insist that the Son and the Father is God because Jesus said they are one based on your interpretation of John 10:30, will you also say that the disciples is God since they too are one as the Father and the Son are one (John 17:11, 21-22)?

The recurring fallacy of the INC in quoting verses out of context and failing to make proper distinctions is again manifest.  Once again, a contextual reading will reveal the error in the INC interpretation.  In John 17:11-22, Jesus was praying to the Father for his disciples.  In the verses surrounding John 10:30, Jesus was addressing the unbelieving Jews.

Let’s take a closer look first at John 10:30 where Jesus said “I and the Father are one.”  The traditional Catholic interpretation of this passage is that Jesus and the Father are two distinct persons based on the use of the plural linking verb ARE and that they share one divine nature based on ONE.  Let me explain why this interpretation is perfectly consistent within the context.  In the preceding verses Jesus speaks lengthily about himself as the Good Shepherd who takes care of his sheep and that those who belong to his fold listens to his voice.  In verse 14, Jesus says:  “I am the good shepherd: and I know mine, and mine know me.”  Using the INC line of reasoning [that is, if we don’t try to distinguish], since Jesus said “I know mine, and mine know me” are we to say then that our [his sheep] knowledge of Jesus is in the same measure as Jesus’ knowledge of us?  Of course not!  In verse 15, Jesus makes this astounding claim:  “As the Father knows me, and I know the Father and I lay down my life for my sheep.”  Unquestionably, the Father knows the Son perfectly.  Does the Son also know the Father perfectly?  If we look at parallel sayings of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels, we see that Jesus leaves no doubt about this.  Here is what Jesus declares:  “And no one knows the Son but the Father: neither does any one know the Father, but the Son” (Matthew 11:27).  What does Jesus mean here?  Do we not know the Father?  Of course, we do!  But not in the same measure as Jesus knows the Father.  While we know the Father in the measure that the Son reveals Him to us, Jesus knows the Father perfectly.  The Jews understood well the full impact of His words so that in verse 19, John wrote that “A dissension rose again among the Jews for these words.”  However their dissension did not deter our Lord from teaching to them what He has come to reveal.  In verse 28, Jesus delivers to them another one of his hard sayings:  “And I give them life everlasting: and they shall not perish for ever. And no man shall pluck them out of my hand.”  Says who?? Did Jesus just claim here that he is able to give life everlasting?  Yes, He did.  But isn’t this gift reserved for God ALONE to give?  Not only that, Jesus claims that no man shall pluck them [the elect] out of his hand.  Hand in biblical parlance is used to mean power which saves the just and judges evil men (see Exodus 6:1, 7:5, 9:3, 13:3 etc.).  Jesus can give everlasting life because he has the power to accomplish what he wills.  In verse 29, Jesus clarifies from whom He receives all that He has:  “That which my Father has given me is greater than all: and no one can snatch them out of the hand of my Father.” Notice the shift in the words “out of my [Jesus’] hand” in verse 28 to “out of the hand of my Father” in verse 29.  It is the same hand [power] of Jesus and the Father which gives life everlasting.  Jesus receives this power from the Father as the Son is said to receive all that the Father is [His nature].  In order to avoid any misgivings about Jesus receiving power from the Father that Jesus’ power is something delegated and not inherent, Jesus emphasizes in the verse 30:  “I and the Father are one.”  There is no escaping here that Jesus intended to drive home to his hearers his claim to divinity.  The Jews got this perfectly but they could not accept this astounding truth and for them this is blasphemy so they “took up stones to stone him” (John 10:31).  Had the Jews misunderstood Jesus then Jesus would have corrected them as He did in other occasions (Matthew 16:5-12; John 3:3-8; John 11:11-14).  In the succeeding verse, Jesus defended his words and gave reasons why we should accept his words at face value even if it cannot be fathomed by our finite understanding.

The quote in John 17:11, 21-22 where Jesus said “they may be one, as we also are” is not in anyway denying his substantial unity with the Father nor does it make us united substantially to the Trinity.  Our unity with one another and to God is only analogical to the unity within the Blessed Trinity.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one in power and therefore essence.  This can be proven in Jesus great commissioning of his disciples: “Going therefore, teach all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” (Mat 28:19).  Name here means power and authority as evident when we also read other passages of Scriptures (Mark 16:17; Acts 3:6; 4:7).  Notice the use of the singular “name” and not the plural “names.”  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit equally and wholly share this one name.  Furthermore, when speaking of God, His name also refers to His essence (Exodus 3:14).  What the passage from John 17:11, 21-22 simply mean is that the essential unity of Jesus and the Father is the vital principle of our unity with one another and with God. Jesus’ disciples are not united by any human affinity but by the grace of God.  They are united with one another in so far as they abide in Jesus and not by anything else. Once more, the INC fails to make the proper distinctions for whatever reasons.

INC objection:  In John 20:28 in which the Apostle Thomas said “My Lord and my God” we are sure that Jesus is not the God referred to here but the Father because if we read back to verse 17, we will notice that in this verse Jesus acknowledged who his God is.  He says:  “I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and to your God.” The God of Jesus is the Father. Therefore, Jesus is not God.   


In my opinion John 20:28 can stand by itself without any further explanation.  Instead of confronting the direct meaning of the verse the INC evades it by jumping back to verse 17.  Before I address verse 17, let us first turn our attention to verse 28 and the immediate verse which precedes and follows it.  In verse 27, Jesus rebukes Thomas for his lack of faith and gave him proof of his resurrection saying, “Put in your finger hither and see my hands. And bring hither the hand and put it into my side. And be not faithless, but believing.”  Having no room to doubt, Thomas believes and makes his profession of faith to the risen Christ in verse 28: “Thomas answered and said to him: My Lord and my God.” Then in verse 29, Jesus confirms this profession of faith saying:  “Jesus said to him: Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed.”  It is truly amazing how one can miss the plain and simple meaning of this statement.  Jesus is Thomas’ Lord and God. Thomas saw Jesus in his risen humanity yet professed belief in Jesus’ divinity.  The verse does not say “Thomas answered and said to them” but “to him.” These words were addressed to Jesus and to no other. In dealing with John 20:28, the INC out rightly abandons their oft-repeated dictum not to add or subtract anything from the Bible.  For the INC when Thomas says to Jesus “My Lord and my God” Jesus is only Thomas’ Lord but not his God.  Let us keep in mind this line reasoning of the INC as this will come in handy in shutting up their back door exit. 

In an attempt to escape being trapped in a self-willed denial of verse 28 the INC harps back to verse 17.  They will assert that when Jesus said “I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and to your God” he therefore acknowledges the Father to be his God and therefore Jesus is not God.  But wait a minute, did they not just tell us that when Thomas said to Jesus “my Lord and my God” that Jesus is only Thomas Lord but not his God and that Thomas was referring to two different persons [Jesus as his Lord and God as (well guess what?) his God]?  How then could they suffer from exegetical amnesia when it comes to verse 17 in which Jesus said “My Father… and my God” and tell us that in here Jesus is speaking about the same person who is his Father and at the same time his God?  The fact that Jesus addresses the Father as God is not in anyway a denial of his own divinity in the same way that the fact that the Father addresses his Son as God is a denial of Father’s divinity.  This will bring us to the answer to the next objection.

INC objection:  If in Hebrews 1:8 the Father acknowledges the Son as God, then it will come out that there will be a contradiction in God’s word since He has already declared “Have not I the Lord, and there is no God else besides me? A just God and a saviour, there is none besides me” (Isaiah 45:21).  He, in fact, repeated this twice in this particular passage.  That is why the correct translation in order to eliminate this contradiction is James Moffatt’s which reads: “But unto the Son, He saith ‘God is thy throne…’”

In an attempt to explain away Hebrews 1:8 the INC presumes to create a contradiction in God’s word but in reality the contradiction exists only in their mind and not in the word of God.  In order to understand why the INC avoids this particular verse, let’s read what it says:  “But to the Son: Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of justice is the sceptre of your kingdom” (Douay Rheims);  “But unto the Son he saith; Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever:  a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom” (KJV); “But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne O God is for ever and ever; and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom” (NRSV); “but of the Son:  ‘Your Throne, O God, stands forever; and a righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom” (NAB).  In this passage of scriptures it is clearer than the noonday sun that the Father addresses his Son as God!  If this verse stands then the Catholic Church teaching on the divinity of Christ stands and all INC members should rush to the feet of Jesus in repentance for the sin of blasphemy!

Where the INC finds an alleged contradiction between the above rendering of Hebrews 1:8 and Isaiah 45:21 the Catholic finds that this can harmoniously be reconciled with the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity.  Since the doctrine of the Trinity states that each of the three divine persons is wholly, entirely and truly God then the fact that Father address his Son as God in Hebrews 1:8 presents no difficulty.  And since the doctrine of the Trinity maintains that the Son is not another God besides the Father but as Jesus Himself teaches that He and the Father are one (John 10:30) then it does not contradict Isaiah 45:21.  Furthermore, when we read in context Isaiah 45:21, God was reproving the people for worshipping idols:  “Assemble yourselves, and come, and draw near together, you that are saved of the Gentiles: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven work, and pray to a god that cannot save” (Isaiah 45:20).  It is in the context of condemning idolatry that God reminds the people that there is no God besides him.  In verse 22, God said, “Be converted to me, and you shall be saved, all you ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is no other.”  The God of spoke in the Old Testament appeared in the New Testament and bears the name of Jesus:  “Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).  I wish the INC will not stop at Isaiah 45:21 but will continue reading up to verse 24 where God said:  “For every knee shall be bowed to me, and every tongue shall swear.”  Upon reading this Philippians 2:10-11 easily comes to mind which says: “That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.”

In a desperate effort to salvage their position, the INC clings to the translation of James Moffatt: “But unto the Son, He saith ‘God is thy throne…’”  This is another glaring example of INC’s selectiveness in using a bible version that will best suite their purpose.  This will give us an idea that the INC is not interested in knowing the truth but in only defending their position at all cost and in whatever means.  This translation by Moffatt is at least doubtful if not badly inaccurate for several reasons:  1)Reputable bible versions such as the Douay Rheims, KJV, NRSV, NAB and many others render this particular verse as “Thy Throne, O God.”  2) These particular passage is actually a quotation from the Book of Psalms 45:6 where again in a host of reputable bible versions it is rendered as “Thy Throne, O God.”  3)  If we grant the Moffatt “But unto the Son, He saith ‘God is thy throne’” then this will make the Son greater than God since the one who sits on the throne is unquestionably greater than the throne on which he sits. 4) Ascribing a throne [dominion and authority] to the Son is proper since Jesus is called King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelations 19:16) and only God deserves this title (1 Timothy 6:15).  5)  The Moffatt translation is noted for altering passages which points to the divinity of Christ like in Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58 by removing the I AM;  In 1 Timothy 3:16 by changing “God was manifest in the flesh” into “He who was manifest in the flesh”; In Matthew 8:2 “worshipped” (KJV) or “adored” (Douay Version) is changed into “knelt.”  6)  In the same context the Son is given divine prerogative:  “And again, when he [Father] brings in the first begotten into the world, he [Father] says: And let all the angels of God adore him [Son]” (Hebrews 1:6).  Here the Father commands all the angels to adore his Son.  If the Son is not God, is the Father commanding us to worship a creature?  Of course for the INC they will teach that God alone is worthy of adoration but since God commands us to adore his Son then we should obey the Father anyway.  This is nothing but what someone calls double-think!

Finally, I would like to exhort all INC members to have an open mind.  Read and learn the arguments of Catholicism from people who are Catholic and who know very well the Catholic faith.  My prayers are for you!

 

Link: http://thesplendorofthechurch.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-catholic-answer-to-iglesia-ni-cristo.html

 

 

Ang Santisima Trinidad

Ang Santisima Trinidad

Ni Bro. Ramon Gitamondoc

National President

Catholic Faith Defenders INC.


I.

 

       Ang Solemne nga Panudlo sa Sta. Iglesya.—Ang Sta. Iglesya nagtudlo nga diha sa Dios adunay Tulo ka Diosnong Personas, matuod nga managlahi ug tumbas sa tanang butang, ang Amahan, ang Anak, ug ang Espiritu Santo; nga ang Amahan dili mao ang Anak, ang Anak dili mao ang Espiritu Santo; ang Espiritu Santo dili mao ang Amahan o ang Anak; nga ang matag Diosnong Persona mao ang usa ug mao ra nga Dios; nga ang Tulo ka Diosnong Personas walay sinugdanan; nga ang Amahan walay gigikanan; nga ang Anak gipanamkon sa walay sinugdanan sa Amahan; nga ang Espiritu Santo naggikan sa Amahan ug sa Anak ingog gikan sa usa ka gigikanan sukad sa walay sinugdan; nga ang tanang mga Hiyas sa Diosnong Essensya gibatonan sa Tulo ka Diosnong Personas.

II.

      Ang Trinidad  1) usa ka Misteryo, 2) dili Panagsumpaki.—Ang doctrina mahitungod sa Trinidad usa ka misteryo, tungod kay naglangkob kini sa duha ka kamatuoran nga dili matugkad sa atong panabot,  a) nga adunay usa ka Dios, ug b) ang matag usa sa Tulo ka Diosnong Persona Dios.  Kini nga mga kamatuoran, kon tinagsaon atong masabot, apan dili kon dunganon.  Atong masabtan nga adunay usa ka Dios, ug nga ang matag Diosnong Persona Dios, apan dili nga ang matag usa mao ang usa ug mao ra nga Dios.  Ang Trinidad usa ka misteryo, apan dili usa ka panagsumpaki.  Usa kini ka panagsumpaki, kon ingnon nga ang Dios Usa sa samang paagi nga Siya Tulo.  Apan wala kini magtudlo niini.  Kini nag-ingon nga ang Dios Usa diha sa kahimtang (nature), Tulo diha sa persona.

    Ang Kahulogan sa Doctrina sa Trinidad. —  Atong ikasaysay ang doctrina, apan dili ang misteryo, sa Santisima Trinidad.  Ang doctrina nalangkob diha sa pamahayag nga “diha sa usa ka pagka-Dios adunay Tulo ka managlahi nga Personas.”  Atong ikasaysay ang usa ka doctrina pinaagi sa paghatag sa kahulogan sa mga pulong nga nagpahayag niini.  Busa, atong mapasabot ang doctrina sa Trinidad pinaagi sa pagpakita unsay kahulogan sa “nature” kun kinaiya, ug unsay kahulogan sa “persona,” – ug kini, pinaagi sa pagpakita sa tukma nga gipasabot sa pamahayag nga adunay tulo ka Personas diha sa usa ka Kinaiya;  apan dili nato masaysay kon sa unsaon niini sa pagkatinuod, tungod kay kini usa man ka misteryo.  Duha ka pangutana ang angay nga lainon,  “Unsay gipasabot niini nga doctrina?”  “Giunsa sa maong doctrina sa pagkatinuod?”  Atong matubag ang unang pangutana, apan dili ang ikaduha.

    Kahulogan sa “nature” kun kinaiya. – Ang essensya sa tawo mao ang nakapahimo kaniya nga siya ug moila kaniya gikan sa ubang mga butang.  Ang iyang essensya anaa sa panaghiusa sa usa ka lawas uban sa usa ka espirituhanon nga kalag.  Kini nga kahiusa sa kalag ug lawas makapahimo kaniya sa paglihok, sa pagbatyag, pagkabati ug pagkakita, sa paghunahuna ug sa pagpangatarungan; sa laktod, kini makapahimo kaniya paglihok isip tawo.  Ang iyang essensya isip mao ang sukaranan sa paglihok mao ang iyang kinaiya.  Busa ang kinaiya sa tawo mao kadtong makapahimo niya sa paglihok ingon nga tawo.  Sa samang paagi ang kinaiya sa anghel mao kadtong makapahimo niya sa paglihok ingon nga anghel; ang kinaiya sa Dios mao kadtong makapahimo Niya sa paglihok ingon nga Dios.

    Kahulogan sa Persona. – Ang kinaiya sa tawo mao ang makapahimo kaniya sa paglihok, apan ang mga lihok nga iyang gihimo wala panag-iyaha sa iyang kinaiya o sa bisan hain nga bahin sa iyang kinaiya; gipanag-iya kini niya isip usa ka persona.  Busa, sa higayon nga imong palihokon ang imong bukton o  sa higayon nga ikaw mamulong o sa higayon nga mosulbad ka sa usa ka problema, dili ka moingon:  “Ang akong bukton milihok” o “Ang akong dila misulti,” o “Ang akong hunahuna misulbad sa problema,” o dili ba kaha ikaw moingon:  “Ang akong kinaiya—ang akong kalag nga nahiusa sa akong lawas—nagbuhat niining mga butanga,” apan ikaw moingon:  “Akong gilihok ang akong bukton, Ako namulong, Ako misulbad sa problema,” nga nagkahulogan, “Ako isip usa ka persona ang nagbuhat niining mga butanga.”  Busa ang persona lahi sa kinaiya; matawag kini nga usa ka butang nga gipuno sa masabtonon nga kinaiya ug kanunay nga nag-uban niini – isip usa ka butang nga pinaagi niini kita gihimong tag-iya sa atong mga lihok, o tag-iya sa atong kinaiya.  Gumikan kay ikaw usa man ka persona nga ikaw responsible sa imong mga lihok, ug mahimong daygon ug basolon tungod niini.

     Tulo ka Personas diha sa Usa ka Diosnong Kinaiya. —  Matag buhat nga imong gihimo pinaagi sa imong tawhanong kinaiya buhat sa usa ra ka persona; apan matag buhat nga ang Dios magahimo pinaagi sa Iyang Diosnong Kinaiya buhat sa Tulo ka Personas.  Kon magtanom ka og kahoy, makaingon ka:  “Ako ang nagtanom niining maong kahoy”; sa laing bahin, ang Dios, sa dihang Iyang gibuhat ang kalibotan, mahimong makaingon:  “Kaming Tulo, ang Amahan, ang Anak, ug ang Espiritu Santo ang nagbuhat sa kalibotan.”  Walay usa sa Diosnong Personas ang makagamit sa Diosnong Kinaiya sa paglihok nga siya da.  Busa, pananglit, dili mahimo nga ang Amahan nga siya lamang ang mibuot sa pagbuhat sa kalibotan.  Makahimo lamang siya sa pagbuot pinaagi sa lihok sa Diosnong Kabubut-on, apan tungod kay ang Diosnong Kabubut-on mao ra man sa Diosnong Kinaiya, ang matag lihok niini gipanag-iya sa samang higayon ug sa samang gibug-aton sa Tulo ka Personas.  Sama sa Diosnong Kaalam ug sa tanang gahom sa Diosnong Kinaiya:  matag lihok nga naggikan kanila iya sa samang higayon ug sa samang paagi sa Tulo ka Personas.  Sa laktod makaingon kita nga ang tanang buhat nga gihimo sa Dios isip Dios gibuhat sa Santisima Trinidad.

    Ang Tulo ka Personas Tumbas sa Tanang Butang, apan Managlahi sa Usag-usa. —  Ang Tulo ka Diosnong Personas tumbas sa tanang butang, tungod kay ang matag-usa Dios, ang matag-usa hingpit nga walay sukod.  Apan matuod usab nga sila nga managlahi tungod kay ang Anak naggikan man sa Amahan, ug tungod kay ang Espiritu Santo naggikan man sa Amahan ug sa Anak.  Busa, kon atong lantawon ang relasyon nga ilang gihuptan sa usag-usa, makapahayag kita kabahin bisan kinsa kanila unsay dili nato ikapahayag sa laing duruha:  labot sa Amahan kita makaingon:  “Siya nanamkon sa Anak”; labot sa Anak, “Siya gianak sa Amahan”; sa Espiritu Santo, “Siya naggikan sa Amahan ug sa Anak.”  Ang doctrina sa Incarnacion moabag kanato sa pagkakita nga ang Tulo ka Diosnong Personas matuod nga managlahi sa usag-usa;  kini nagtudlo nga ang usa, ug ang usa lamang, sa Diosnong Personas – Ang Dios nga Anak – ang nahimong Tawo.  Si Cristo pinaagi sa iyang tawhanong kinaiya nakahimo sa paglihok ingon nga Tawo, ug ang Iyang buhat isip Tawo gipanag-iya niya lamang.  Siya lamang ang nagkinabuhi ug nagbudlay sa kalibotan; Siya lamang ang nagpasakit ug namatay didto sa krus alang kanato; Siya lamang ang nagtubos kanato.  Sa samang paagi, kon usa sa laing Personas ang nahimong Tawo, Kaniya lamang ikahatag ang titulo sa Manunubos; Siya lamang ang manag-iya sa tanang lihok nga mahimo pinaagi sa Iyang tawhanong kinaiya.  Ang pulong “persona” atong nakuha gikan sa atong kasayuran sa mga binuhat; ato kining gigamit sa paghisgot labot sa Santisima Trinidad, dili tungod kay sigo kini sa iyang kaugalingon, apan tungod kay, sama sa giingon ni San Augustine, mao kini ang labing haduol nga termino nga atong magamit.

    Ang relasyon sa Trinidad ngadto sa Diosnong Kahibalo ug Kabubut-on. —  Si Santo Tomas, nga mipalambo sa panghunahuna nga gisugyot ni San Augustine, gisunod sa tanang Teologo sa iyang pagpahayag sa relasyon sa Santisima Trinidad ngadto sa Diosnong Kahibalo ug Kabubut-on: — ang Dios usa ka Espiritu, ug ang unang lihok sa usa ka espiritu mao ang paghibalo, ang pagsabot.  Karon, ang Dios nga nahibalo sa Iyang kaugalingon sukad sa eternidad, mimugna sa hingpit nga kahibalo mahitungod sa iyang kaugalingon.  Kining maong kahibalo sa Iyang Kaugalingon dili usa ka lumalabay nga panghunahuna, sama sa atong gihuptan, kondili Iyang kaugalingong Larawan, ang Iyang kaugalingong Essensya, usa ka buhi nga Persona.  Ang Dios nga nahibalo sa Iyang Kaugalingon mao ang Dios nga Amahan; Ang kahibalo sa Dios sa Iyang Kaugalingon mao ang Dios nga Anak.  Ang Dios nga Amahan ug Dios nga Anak nahigugma sa usag-usa sukad sa eternidad, tungod kay ila man nga nakita diha sa usag-usa ang labing labaw nga Kaayo sa pagka-Dios.  Ang ilang gugma alang sa usag-usa mao ang ilang kaugalingong Esssensya, usa ka buhi nga Persona, ang Espiritu Santo.  Busa, inubanan sa kagamay sa atong panabot, atong gihunahuna ang Santisima Trinidad nga mao ang walay sinugdan nga sangputanan sa Diosnong Kahibalo ug sa Diosnong Kabubut-on.  Apan nagpabilin ang misteryo nga wala masulbad:  dili nato matubag ang mga pangutana, “Unsang pagka-unsaa nga ang kahibalo sa Dios sa iyang kaugalingon buhi man nga Persona?”  “Nganong ang gugma sa Dios ug sa Iyang buhi nga Larawan buhi man nga Persona?”

 

III.

Ang Misteryo sa Trinidad, usa ka Labing Hinungdanon nga Articulo sa Pagtuo ug Modasig sa Pagka-makidiosnon. —  Ang misteryo sa Santisima Trinidad, dili dayag nga gipasabot diha sa Daang Tugon, apan tin-aw nga gipadayag sa Bag-ong Tugon, usa ka fundamento nga articulo sa pagtuo nga gihatag kanato sa atong Manunubos.  Sa atong pagkahimugso niining kalibotana, gibunyagan kita sa ngalan sa Amahan, ug sa Anak, ug sa Espiritu Santo.  Sa atong kinabuhi, atong gipadayag ang atong pagtuo sa Diosnong Misteryo sa matag higayon nga mohimo kita sa timaan sa Krus, sa matag higayon nga kita molitok:  “Himaya sa Amahan, ug sa Anak, ug sa Espiritu Santo.”  Diha sa ngilit sa kamatayon ang pari mohupay sa atong hapit na mohalin nga kalag uban sa mga pulong:  “Bisan kon siya nakasala, wala niya islaikway ang Amahan, ang Anak, ug ang Espiritu Santo.”  Atong gidayeg ug gisimba Siya nga mipadayag sa iyang kaugalingon ubos nga mahigugmaon nga ngalan sa Amahan; atong gidayeg ug gisimba ang Anak nga nahimong atong igsoon, ug napaubos sa iyang kaugalingon hangtod sa kamatayon didto sa Krus alang sa atong kaluwasan; atong gidayeg ug gisimba agn Espiritu Santo kinsa, nagpuyo diha sa Simbahan ug sa atong kasingkasing, nagbugkos kanato, usa diha sa diosnong pagtuo ug paghigugma:  “Kanimo, O Dios, ang walay gigikanan nga Amahan; Kanimo, ang Bugtong Anak;  Kanimo, ang Espiritu Santo, ang Maglilipay; ang balaan usa wala mabahin nga Trinidad, uban sa tibuok nga kasingkasing ug tingog among gidayeg ug gisimba:  Himaya alang Kanimo sa walay kataposan.”

 

IV.

    Ang Trinidad sa iyang kadugtongan sa mga Buhat sa Dios, sa mga Diosnong Hiyas. –  Ang Trinidad matawag nato nga mao ang sulodnon nga kalihukan sa Dios, ang kalihukan sa Dios sulod sa iyang Kaugalingon, diin ang matag usa ka Diosnong Persona adunay Iyang kaugalingon nga bahin.  Ang tanang buhat gawas sa Dios, sama pananglit sa tanan Niyang pagtagad sa mga binuhat, sa paglalang kanila, sa pagpalungtad kanila, sa pagbalaan, ug uban pa, gihimo sa tibuok Trinidad.  (Ang Diosnong hukom sa pagpadala sa usa ka Manunubos sa kalibotan, ang pag-umol sa lawas ni Cristo sa sabakan ni Maria, ang pagdugtong sa maong tawhanong kinaiya ngadto sa Dios nga Anak sa usa ka Personal nga paghiusa, ang hukom sa pagdawat sa Sakripisyo sa Krus ingon nga pamayad sa sala sa mga tawo—kining tanan, ingon nga buhat sa Dios, isip Dios, gihimo sa Tulo ka Personas.  Sa laing bahin, sumala sa gikapahayag na sa unahan, ang mga buhat ni Cristo isip tawo, ang mga buhat nga nahimo pinaagi sa Iyang Tawhanong Kinaiya, kaniya lamang.  Apan agig pagpahinungod “appropriation,” kita maghisgot sa Amahan, tungod kay Siya mao man ang Ulo sa tibuok Trinidad, nga mao ang Magbubuhat, ug sa Espiritu Santo, isip mao ang Diosnong Gugma, isip mao ang Tigbalaan.  Agig “appropriation,” atong gipahinungod ngadto sa Amahan ang pagka-Makagagahom ug Eternidad; ngadto sa Anak, ang Kahibalo ug Kaalam, tungod kay pinaagi man sa Salabutan nga Siya naggikan sa Amahan; ug ngadto sa Espiritu Santo, kinsa mao ang gugma sa Amahan ug sa Anak, atong gipahinungod ang Gugma ug ang tanang Diosnong Hiyas nga nalambigit niini.

    Ang Trinidad sa iyang kadugtongan sa Diosnong Misyon. —  Ang Diosnong Misyon mao ang pagpadala sa usa ka Diosnong Persona diha sa kalibotan alang sa usa ka talagsaon nga buluhaton, o sa paglungtad sa usa ka bag-o nga paagi, taliwala sa katawhan.  Ang Anak mahimong ikapadala sa Amahan; ang Espiritu Santo ikapadala sa Amahan ug sa Anak; ang Amahan moanhi, apan wala ipadala.  (Ang atong Manunubos mismo ang nagtudlo kanato sa paghisgot sa “pag-anhi” ug “pagpadala” sa mga Diosnong Personas.  Tulukibon kini nga mga pulong kansang kahulogan masabtan nato sa hanay nga paagi.  Dili kini angay nga sabton sa literal nga paagi:  tungod kay ang Dios anaa man sa tanang dapit, ang Santisima Trinidad anaa sa tanang dapit; busa dili ikapangutana ang  pag-anhi ug ang pagpadala sa ordinaryo nga pagsabot.  Unsa man diay ang gipasabot sa atong Manunubos?  Makatubag kita kabahin niini pinaagi sa pag-ingon nga ang maong mga pulong makatabang kanato sa pagpahayag sa kadugtungan sa mga Diosnong Personas sa usag-usa:  Giingon nga ang Amahan moanhi sa iyang kaugalingon, tungod kay Siya mao ang Ulo sa Trinidad; ang Anak gipadala sa Amahan tungod kay gikan siya sa Amahan; ang Espiritu Santo gipadala sa Amahan ug sa Anak, nga nagpasabot nga Siya naggikan kanila.  Busa, ang maong mga pulong  makatabang  kanato  sa  pagsabot sa doctrina sa  Santisima Trinidad, ug sa paghimo og mga acto sa

pagtuo niini nga misteryo.  Usa ka sayop ang pag-ingon nga ang Amahan mipadala sa iyang Anak nganhi sa kalibotan pinaagi sa iyang kaugalingong lihok lamang, o nga ang Amahan ug ang Anak pinaagi sa pinasahi nilang lihok mipadala sa Espiritu Santo;  kini nga mga lihok mahimo pinaagi lamang sa Diosnong Kinaiya, ug busa iya sa samang paagi sa Tulo ka Diosnong Personas).  Ang Tulo ka Diosnong Personas mosulod diha sa kalag uban ang grasya nga makasantos, ang Amahan moanhi sa iyang Kaugalingon, ang Anak ug ang Espiritu Santo ingon nga gipadala.  Kini balaanon nga kahiusa sa kalag ngadto sa Santisima Trinidad gipadayag kanato diha sa mga pulong ni Cristo:  “Ang nahigugma kanako, mamati sa akong mga pulong, ug akong Amahan mahigugma kaniya, ug mopuyo kami diha kaniya” (Juan 14:23).  Ang Anak gipadala nganhi sa kalibotan sa Amahan.  Isip Dios, Siya kanunay nga naglungtad diha sa kalibotan sukad sa pagbuhat niini; apan, isip Tawo, sa iyang pagpaka-Tawo (Incarnacion), Siya misugod sa paglungtad diha sa kalibotan sa usa ka bag-o nga paagi;  ingon nga Tawo, Siya nagpabilin nga nag-uban kanato diha sa Santos uyamot nga Sacramento sa Eukaristiya.  Ang Espiritu Santo, nga gipadala sa Amahan ug sa Anak, mikunsad ngadto sa mga Apostoles sa unang Pentecostes.  Ang mga dila sa kalayo ug ang nagdahunog nga hangin mao ang mga timaan sa Iyang pag-abot.  (Ang Espiritu Santo gihisgotan nga mao ang Paracleto kun Maglilipay.  Ang samang titulo gihatag usab ngadto sa Dios nga Anak.  Angay nga matngonan nga sa atong pag-ingon nga ang Espiritu Santo mikunsad ngadto sa mga Apostoles, wala nato ipasabot nga Siya lamang sa Santisima Trinidad ang mipuyo sa kalag sa mga Apostoles.  Pinasikad sa prinsipyo sa pagpahinungod, ato gipahid ngadto Kaniya ang usa ka buhat nga gihimo sa Tulo ka Diosnong Personas sa samang higayon.  Pinaagi lamang sa paglugway ngadto sa tawhanong kinaiya nga ang usa ka Diosnong Persona makalihok nga mag-inusara.)

V.

 

    Mga Erehiya. —  Ang doctrina sa Trinidad gisalikway (1) sa mga Monarchians (c. 200), kinsa naghupot sa pagtuo nga diha sa Dios adunay usa lamang ka Persona; (2) sa mga Modalists (Sabellius ug mga kauban), kinsa misulay sa paghatag sa panudlo sa mga Monarchians sa mas makatarunganon nga baruganan pinaagi sa pag-ingon nga ang Amahan, Anak, ug Espiritu Santo mga nagkalainlain lamang nga pagpadayag sa mao ra nga Diosnong Persona;  (3) ni Arius (d. 336), kinsa nagtudlo nga ang Anak usa lamang ka binuhat; ni Macedonius, ang iyang tinun-an, nga mipadako sa yawan-on nga doctrina sa iyang magtutudlo, ug nagpahayag nga ang Espiritu Santo usab binuhat lamang nga ubos sa Anak.  Si Arius gi-condenar sa Unang Concilio Heneral sa Simbahan, nga gihimo didto sa Nicea sa Bithynia, Asia Minor, sa tuig 325;  si Macedonius, sa Concilio Heneral sa Constantinopla sa tuig 381.  Sa bag-ong mga kapanahunan, ang mga Modernists ug daghang mga Protestante (Unitarians) naghupot, batok sa yano nga panudlo nga Kasulatan ug Tadisyon, nga ang doctrina sa Trinidad wala maugmad sa forma diin gipadayag kini karon sa Iglesya Katolika hangtod sa ikaupat nga gatusan ka tuig, ug nga ang unang mga Kristohanon nag-isip ni Cristo, dili ingon nga Dios, apan ingon nga Diosnong Pinadala, ug sa Espiritu Santo nga dili lain usa lamang ka gahom o kalihukan sa Dios.   Ang mga Modernistas, nga natukod diha sa sayop nga pagsabot sa pag-ugmad sa doctrina, (1) milimod nga ang Simbahan dili-msayop, ug (2) mga isyu diha sa labing balinsungag nga conclusion nga , sa unang siglo, ang usa ka kristohanon mopalabi sa paghalad sa iyang kinabuhi kay sa pag-afirmar sa pagka-Dios ni Cristo, ug, nga sa ikaupat, kay sa paglimod niini.  Ang mga Schismatic Greeks nagpabilin gihapon nga naghupot nga ang Espiritu Santo naggikan sa Amahan lamang, o sa Amahan pinaagi sa Anak, ug dili gikan sa Amahan ug sa Anak sa samang paagi.  Kining karaan nilang mga erehiya gi-condenar sa Simbahan sa makadaghan nga higayon, ug, labi na gyod, didto sa Concilio sa Lyons (1274),ug sa Florence (1439), diin sila mismo atua didto.