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The Trinity
Welcome... I do not claim that my writings here are the equivalent of Scripture. There are too many folks doing that already. You are welcome to read these pages as my opinion and reflections. I encourage all Christians to come to their own conclusions and develop their own, personal relationship with God.
This Page is Under Construction...

The Trinity
A Triune God?
LCMS Holy Trinity Doctrine...
The Athanasian Creed...
Open Questions
Confused About the Trinity?
It's Easy to Become a Christian
The New Christian
The Holy Bible
The Christian Church
My Personal Savior
Bottom Line

The Trinity
The Trinity or Triune God is a description of our one God in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It is a doctrine joining these three persons using several Bible verses and descriptions.
In the end, to me it seems flawed, flawed because the more I study the Trinity the less I seem to understand. The Trinity is a doctrine concocted by men and few of the descriptive words used are found in the Bible.
Some Christians try to use the Trinity Doctrine as some sort of litmus test to deny, another person's relationship with God.

The Triune God
I believe in one God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
For me, this is the best description of the Trinity or a Triune God. I believe exactly what the Bible says about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and everything else! Sola Scriptura!

LCMS Holy Trinity Doctrine...
Of God...
On the basis of the Holy Scriptures we teach the sublime article of the Holy Trinity; that is, we teach that the one true God, Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4, is the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, three distinct persons, but of one and the same divine essence, equal in power, equal in eternity, equal in majesty, because each person possesses the one divine essence entire, Colossians 2:9, Matthew 28:19. We hold that all teachers and communions that deny the doctrine of the Holy Trinity are outside the pale of the Christian Church. The Triune God is the God who is gracious to man, John 3:16-18, 1 Corinthians 12:3. Since the Fall, no man can believe in the "fatherhood" of God except he believe in the eternal Son of God, who became man and reconciled us to God by His vicarious satisfaction, 1 John 2:23; John 14:6. Hence we warn against Unitarianism, which in our country has to a great extent impenetrated the sects and is being spread particularly also through the influence of the lodges.
The following are the verses that contribute to the LCMS Holy Trinity Doctrine. The LCMS was established in 1847 so these are from the KJV.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: (Deuteronomy 6:4 KJV)
So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that "An idol is nothing at all in the world" and that "There is no God but one." (1 Corinthians 8:4 KJV)
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:9 KJV)
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 28:19 KJV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18 KJV)
I Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (1 Corinthians 12:3 KJV)
Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. (1 John 2:23 KJV)
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

The Athanasian Creed 1642...
The Holy Trinity and Life Together...
The Athanasian Creed confesses the LCMS belief in the Trinity.
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity. Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation; that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Substance [Essence] of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Substance [Essence] of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood. Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood into God. One altogether; not by confusion of Substance [Essence]; but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the God the Father Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies; And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.

LCMS Open Questions...
Those questions in the domain of Christian doctrine may be termed open questions which Scripture answers either not at all or not clearly. Since neither an individual nor the Church as a whole is permitted to develop or augment the Christian doctrine, but are rather ordered and commanded by God to continue in the doctrine of the apostles, 2 Thess. 2:15; Acts 2:42, open questions must remain open questions. — Not to be included in the number of open questions are the following: The doctrine of the Church and the Ministry, of Sunday, of Chiliasm, and of Antichrist, these doctrines being clearly defined in Scripture.
It strikes me that the following statement, found In the LCMS Doctrine 'Of God' above, goes directly against this Open Questions Docrine.
We hold that all teachers and communions that deny the doctrine of the Holy Trinity are outside the pale of the Christian Church.
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (2 Thessalonians 2:15 KJV)
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42 KJV)

Confused About the Trinity and the Athanasian Creed?
Me too... Perhaps that is because God expects us to be confused about some things...
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Martin Luther... Respond with humility, I do not know.
What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?
The most difficult thing about the Christian concept of the Trinity is that there is no way to perfectly and completely understand it. The Trinity is a concept that is impossible for any human being to fully understand, let alone explain. God is infinitely greater than we are; therefore, we should not expect to be able to fully understand Him. The Bible teaches that the Father is God, that Jesus is God, and that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also teaches that there is only one God. Though we can understand some facts about the relationship of the different Persons of the Trinity to one another, ultimately, it is incomprehensible to the human mind. However, this does not mean the Trinity is not true or that it is not based on the teachings of the Bible.
Modalism, Tritheism, or the Pure Revelation of the Triune God...
In the Modalist system, God manifests Himself, in the sense of reveals Himself, as the Father in creation, as the Son in redemption, and as the Holy Spirit in sanctification. There are not really three distinct persons in God but only three ways of considering God from the effects He has produced in the world.
Those who neglect the Scriptures and approach such questions [such as the Trinity] with confidence in their own mental power are the teachers of God, not His pupils…. If reason disturbs you here and questions arise like… Are there, then, two gods? answer: There is only one God, and still there is the Father and the Son. How is this possible? Respond with humility, I do not know.
The political Aspect of the Trinity...
Emperor Constantine and his advisor Hosius of Corduba, a Catholic Bishop, were aware of the usefulness of having a divinely ordained church in which the church authority, and not the individual, was able to determine individual salvation, and threw their support toward the homoousion Nicene formula.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:8-9)
Damned if You Don't...
If we assert that salvation comes through faith in Christ alone then the Athanasian Creed is going too far. It says that unless you hold particular views about particular doctrines, such as the Trinity, then you cannot be saved. This makes the Trinity rather than Christ the grounds of our salvation.

The Shield of the Trinity...
Jesus said, I and my Father are one. (John 10:30 KJV)

It's Easy to Become a Christian...
I believe God has made it very easy for us to follow Jesus and become a Christian.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
I believe we are conceived with God in our heart and soul. I was about 6 or 7 when John 3:16 became clear for the first time. While that was over 70 years ago I still have some memory of the day in church, it made perfect sense. To be sure there have been some rough patches between then and now, but my Christian faith has survived and now grows stronger every day.
About a year ago I was reading about the criminals beside Jesus on the cross...
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:39-43)
Now I had read this passage before, but this time it struck me how quickly and easily the criminal was accepted and guaranteed eternal life...
No prayer, church, pastor, Pope, confession, or asking forgiveness, no baptism, Last Supper, or other religious rites or ceremonies, no required doctrines, creeds, or confessions, no donations or good works... Jesus simply looked into the man's soul and saw that he believed.
He (Jesus) is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (Acts 10:42-43)
While these things, prayer, church, confession, baptism, donations, good works, etc. are not necessary, God has provided them for our benefit as a guide and support to lead us and help us mature in our Christian faith.
The only requirement for salvation, like the criminal on the cross, is that we believe in Jesus as our God and our savior as described in the Christian Bible...
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:18)
It is as if God does not insist on His way but leaves it up to us, he has put His way in our very soul and our own conscience... We inherently know what is right and what is wrong, and we have the free will to believe and follow, or not.
Does that mean we will always come to the right conclusion? Not at all. Due to various human urges, earthly influences, and other factors we often make wrong decisions. That is why God sent us His Bible and His Son Jesus and gave us the Holy Spirit, to help us to make right and righteous decisions that lead us to him.
I believe that no matter what Christian denomination we follow, what Bible we read, what rituals we perform, what works we do, or anything else, that God and His Son Jesus are right there for us and our eternal salvation.
If you truly believe and follow the one God who sent His Son Jesus to pay for our sins, then you are a forgiven sinner and a Christian. To help you start your relationship with your new friend, Jesus, call on Him any time, any place, personally I like to bow my head. Jesus is with you always now and He will never leave you. Thank Him for what He has given you, ask Him to forgive your sins, and ask for His guidance. Many seek the guidance of a pastor or a trusted Chjristian friend to help get started, but you can do it as quietly and privaely as you like... It's as easy as that.
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New Christians...
So now what? First, realize that if you have truly given your heart and soul to Jesus and seek to follow Him, you are a Christian, you belong to him forever, and He will never ever let you go...
Jesus said, This is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given me, but raise them up at the last day. (John 6:39)
I strongly suggest new Christians keep their eyes open for Christian friends, like anything else, there is power in numbers. Also, when you discuss personal behavior and sin with your new friend Jesus, you will often win the arguement. Jesus will make the right path clear, but he will never force you to take it, that is your own free will.
This is a good time to learn about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the part of God that actually lives in our heart, our soul. The Holy Spirit is with us from conception. The Holy Spirit is a patient teacher but it is of no use to those who reject it and Jesus Christ. I believe that the Holy Spirit is very unique and personal for each of us, and when we pray it is through the Holy Spirit directly to Jesus and God.
Look for a church, convenience is good as it will encourage you to attend more often. Stick with one of the long-standing, main-stream Christian denominations, there are many churches that wander away from and even corrupt the teachings of the Bible. I prefer churches that follow the KJV, ESV, or the NIV Bible. Meet the pastor and don't hesitate to ask questions.
Keep your head up, be alert, and be careful with churches that make demands. Remember, Jesus made no demands of the criminal on the cross, He simply looked into the man's soul, saw that he believed, and took him to paradise. Jesus is your savior, not the church.
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The Holy Bible...
I Believe Exactly What the Bible Tells Me, I Do Not Necessarily Believe What the Bible Tells You.
This is NOT a statement of who is right or who is wrong, but that we can both read the Bible and sometimes come to different conclusions, yet we can both truly believe in Jesus.
I believe the truth of God is revealed in the Christian Bible. I don't like to call the Bible 'The Word of God' like many Christians, I prefer just the Bible or more formally the Holy Scriptures. To me, The Word of God seems to give the Bible status beyond a book. I believe the Bible is a book that contains words from God in the written form.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
Experiance has shown that it is sometimes difficult to get the original meaning, intention, and inferance from written words. I like to read and rewrite and then examine to see how closely my written thoughts resemble scripture, sometimes editing and over and over. When I study the Bible I also have the benefit of the Holy Spirit directing and teaching.
I also like to read and listen to knowledgeable Christians such as pastors and teachers who I respect and I most often find myself in basic agreemtnt. However, occasionally I find that I just cannot reconcile my thoughts with others and so sometimes... I do not necessarily believe what the Bible tells others is intended for me. I do NOT mean this to be offensive or arrogant.
This leads me to believe that while God is the one and only God for all of us, He is also a personal God for each and a personal savior for each of us, working through Jesus Christ. God is far greater than anything any of us can fully understand or even imagine.
Bible Versions and denominations...
I am comfortable with any Bible written in English and basically derived from the KJV.
if Catholics need extra books, okay, I have never found anything where I strongly disagree with Catholics. Jesus brought the New Covenant, not to replace the Old Testament but to fulfill it. He paid the price of our sins as demanded in the Old Testament, the laws remain and the penalty is paid, believe in Jesus and Salvation is ours.
For why is my freedom being judged by another's conscience? (1 Corinthians 10:29)
In context... 1 Corinthians 10:27-33

The Church...
The Body of Christ is the first Christian Church, founded by Jesus Christ and to which all Christians are bound by salvaion.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually rmembers of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27)
Today we have many different Christian Denominations

My Personal Savior...
Under Construction...

Under Construction...
Is it possible that the Holy Spirit did not enter and remain with Jesus until His baptism?
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, (Isaiah 7:14-15)
John gave this testimony: I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. I have seen and I testify that this is God's Chosen One. (John 1:32-34)

The Eucharist...
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take and eat; this is my body. Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:26-28)
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take it; this is my body. Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many, he said to them. Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God. (Mark 14:22-25)
The idea that Christ is actually present in the bread and wine is interpreted literally by some denominations and metaphorically by others. This has given rise to substantial disagreements.
Did Jesus mean for the taking of the bread and wine at the last supper to be set up as a ritual? I think the Eucharist as a ritual was created by men... When Peter addressed a crowd of 3000 new Christians...
I am inclined to believe that Jesus was showing them how say a prayer of thankfulness at mealtime when we have much to be thankful for.
Either way, A prayer at mealtime is always good and I think the formal Eucharist Ritual is good as it helps align Christians and bring them together, even if we get it literally or metaphorically wrong according to others.

Bottom Line...
LCMS: We hold that all teachers and communions that deny the doctrine of the Holy Trinity are outside the pale of the Christian Church.
dj: In the Gospel Jesus said, I and my Father are one. (John 10:30 KJV)... The Trinity Doctrine says they are "distinct persons of one divine essence."
dj: I am not trying to find fault with the Trinity Doctrine, only the attempt to exclude those who do not fully embrace it. No Christian, or group of Christians, have the God given right to interfere with my own, or any other Christian's relationship with Jesus Christ.
dj: When a person tells me he is a Christian, unless he is flat-out lying, I belive that person is at least looking in the right direction, toward the Lord Jesus Christ, just as I am.
If we think our brothers are wrong...
If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17)
dj: So... I would like my church, the Lutheran LCMS Church, and all Christian churches, to try and find ways to support other Christian denominations rather than finding ways to divide and exclude them... I seriously doubt that Jesus cares about the theology of whoever leads a believer to Him and salvation, if it is the Pope, a LCMS Lutheran, or a Mormon teen on a bike.

Notes... All of the following is work in progress...
Once Saved Always Saved.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. (John 10:28-30)
Modern nontrinitarian groups or denominations include Christadelphians, Christian Scientists, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dawn Bible Students, Friends General Conference, Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah's Witnesses, Living Church of God, Members Church of God International, Oneness Pentecostals, the Seventh Day Church of God, Unitarian Universalist Christians, United Church of God, The Shepherd's Chapel and Spiritism.
Do Mormons Believe in the Trinity?
As Latter-day Saints we believe as all Christians do... "in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost" (Articles of Faith 1). We believe that they are one in purpose and mission and that they are three separate divine beings.
Joseph Smith...
History 1:17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
LCMS Trinity Doctrine.
The LCMS Trinity Doctrine and the Athanasian Creed describe Jesus as one of three distinct persons of one divine essence, the eternal Son of God, who became a man.
Question: Why is it necessary to divide God into three distinct persons and then rejoin them?
God gave us Jesus in human form to live on earth and to die for our sins, after which Jesus returned to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. Jesus has returned to God.
Question: What is distinct about Jesus now?
Jesus said, "I and my Father are one." (John 10:30)
Trinity Doctrine says, Jesus and His Father are distinct persons of one essence.
Question: How is the Trinity Doctrine better than Jesus' own statement?
The Trinity Doctrine states the Holy Ghost is a person.
Question: How can a spirit be described as a person?
dj: When I read the LCMS Trinity Doctrine statement it is as if a LCMS authority is telling me... I understand the nature of God and I have written it here in my own words. If you or anyone else does not accept what I have written, then you are beyond the pale of the Christian Church.
A false prophet is one who falsely claims the gift of prophecy or divine inspiration, or who uses that gift for evil ends. Often, someone who is considered a "true prophet" by some people is simultaneously considered a "false prophet" by others, even within the same religion as the "prophet" in question.
Young Jesus...
The Baptism of Jesus...
Matthew 3
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"
15 Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
John 1
32 Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One."[f]
Mark 1
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
Luke 3
21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
The gospels say that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus when he was baptised. John 1:33 says the Spirit came down and remained.
Exodus 3:14.
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
John 8:56–59
56 wYour father Abraham xrejoiced ythat he would see my day. zHe saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”5 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, aI am.” 59 So bthey picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
Jesus was and is God in every way.
Romans 1:20English Standard Version (ESV)
20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[a] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Romans 1:20King James Version (KJV)
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
LCMS: We hold that all teachers and communions that deny the doctrine of the Holy Trinity are outside the pale of the Christian Church.
dj: No Christian, or group of Christians, have the God given right to interfere with my, or any other Christian's faith.
Read in context...
For why is my freedom being judged by another's conscience? (1 Corinthians 10:29)
The Christian Church is the Body of Christ... While LCMS leaders and theologians may have every right to deny membership in the LCMS Church, they have no right whatsoever to deny anyone the Christian Church.
In the Bible, however, the word saint is used as a description of anyone who is a committed believer, particularly by St. Paul in the New Testament (e.g. Ephesians 1.1. and 1.15).
The Criminal on the Cross...
The criminal simply believed in Jesus and asked Jesus to remember him when Jesus returned to his kingdom. The criminal was immediately accepted and guaranteed eternal life.
No prayer, church, pastor, Pope, or confession of his sins, no baptism, Last Supper, or other religious rituals or ceremonies, no donations or good works, no required doctrines, creeds, or confessions... Jesus simply looked into the man's soul and saw that he believed.
When Christians Get It Wrong...
Holier Than Thou...
Over the years I have developed views and opinions on many different subjects and I am very well locked-in to some. I consider this an asset in that I don't usually follow the crowd new foolish ideas just because they seem attractive or because someone just wants to bully their viewpoint on others... But it also makes it hard to accept ideas when I may be going against the grain of truth.
So... When I am uncomfortable with any new idea that does not fit into my established views and opinions, I will often reevaluate everything as often as needed until it either fits or I can discard it. This reevaluation includes discussing with anyone knowledgeable and reading anything I can find on the subject.
The third option, usually for any matter concerning God or my religious views, I sometimes accept an answer of... I don't know.
Martin Luther... Respond with humility, I do not know.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
The Logos of God
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