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Although I'm a cradle to grave Episcopalian, I do not accept everything. I definitely fit the description of a progressive Christian.

My daughter asked me a question recently (she is an adult) that I have often wondered myself and could not answer. I'd be curious to see other's opinions on this.

She asked if there is a trinity, then why the huge emphasis on Christ? Shouldn't there be just as much emphasis on God and the Holy Spirit? It has always bothered me that people put so much emphasis on Christ. I certainly agree with his teachings but why pray to just him?

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Guest billmc

Welcome to the PC discussion board, Cradle To Grave! I'm glad you found us! And I'm glad you joined right in! We'd enjoy hearing more about your journey when you get time.

 

Seeing as you have asked for opinions, the following is my own and does *not* reflect anyone else's here that I am aware of. I don't technically believe in the Trinity. I believe, as ancient Judaism says, that God is One. "God in three persons" never made any sense to me. So I don't pray to Jesus nor do I worship him, though I meditate on his teachings and lifestyle often. And if Jesus was correct that God is Spirit, then, IMO, it doesn't make much sense to say that the Father is one person while the Spirit is another person.

 

On the other hand, I believe that all of us are created in the image of God and have "divinity" or "the divine spark" or "an Inner Light" or "something of God" in us. I believe we are all "in God," but that none of us are God. Jesus said that the same unity he had with the Father was existant between God and Jesus' disciples.

 

Historically, I think the Church came up with the doctrine of the Trinity to sanction the worship of Jesus as God. I'm more prone to agree with the apostle Paul that "God was IN Christ". But I do experience the truth that I think the doctrine of the Trinity tries to point to: that we experience true divinity in true humanity. For me, while I see God in Christ, I don't believe that Jesus was or is God. But I have no problem getting along with Trinitarians (as long as they don't insist that I become one). :) Just my own 2c.

 

I hope others chime in on this. Again, welcome to the message board for Progressive Christianity. You may also find some good posts on this subject by using our Search function.

 

billmc

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Welcome here.

 

I am a practicing Episcopalian but not from the cradle. I joined the church in my mid-thirties.

 

I view the Trinity as one attempt to represent our limited understanding of God. Focus on different aspects of the Trinity can indicate different directions in our focus on our percpection of God. Focus on Jesus may indicate a need for a personal god who is accessible and present for the imagination in human form. A focus on the God the Father can indicate a focus on philosphical god who is abstract and more inline with the rationalist god and natural religion. A focus on the Holy Spirit can indicate a more emotional vibrant concept of God moving the spirit and inspiring sanctification. I think you have to also mention the need to identify the feminine in the conception of God, either as Wisdom or through Mary as Mother of God.

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It is my understanding that historically the Trinity was essentially a theological (maybe to a degree political) compromise among very diverse views among early Christians leaders as to just who this guy Jesus was, man? God? both?

 

A compromise was adopted at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE at the urging of the emperor Constantine. I don't think Constantine cared what they agreed on, just that they agreed on something.

 

George

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Welcome here.

 

I am a practicing Episcopalian but not from the cradle. I joined the church in my mid-thirties.

 

I view the Trinity as one attempt to represent our limited understanding of God. Focus on different aspects of the Trinity can indicate different directions in our focus on our percpection of God. Focus on Jesus may indicate a need for a personal god who is accessible and present for the imagination in human form. A focus on the God the Father can indicate a focus on philosphical god who is abstract and more inline with the rationalist god and natural religion. A focus on the Holy Spirit can indicate a more emotional vibrant concept of God moving the spirit and inspiring sanctification. I think you have to also mention the need to identify the feminine in the conception of God, either as Wisdom or through Mary as Mother of God.

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Nice to see so many comments right off! All three of these comments give me some insight that I can offer my daughter. That need to give "status" to Jesus certainly makes sense, as does something that speaks to the differing needs that people have to understand a god.

As far as your mention of the feminine in this discussion, I have spent some time next to a woman who always changes the masculine "father" etc. to gender neutral, either using God or Creator instead of Father etc. I have found that I have transitioned to doing the same. It may be part of the reason that I prefer to emphasize God instead of Christ.

 

I may be a Trinitarian as an Episcopalian but my focus remains on God. I, like the first poster, prefer to focus on his teachings. Somehow giving him the same status as God, never quite seems right. Certainly giving him more status as many bible based religions seem to do, seems imbalanced.

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Hi, Cradle to grave

 

For me, the Trinity no longer exists, although the language might. A historical Jesus, ultimate reality we often call God, and Christ, who is the post-resurrection Jesus. They each are doors for me. Since God and creation have been co-evolving for 13.7 billion years Jesus is a particularly brilliant light and witness but still historical. Christ allows to me project what I understand about the particular Jesus into the cosmos.

 

Again, welcome

 

dutch

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Cradle welcome, I have a different opinion. I feel the Trinity is an explanation of duality in unity or unity in duality. The Holy Spirit and God the Father as the abstract symbols and Christ as the concrete symbol in duality. I feel most Christians relate to the concrete and disregard the abstract explanations. I like the abstract so the Trinity explanation helps me put duality in unity similar to the yin yang symbol.

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Welcome to the community cradle to grave. I don't try to explain the trinity as there seems to me to be plenty of explanations that don't do anything for me. Whether it is fact or fiction, i do not know. If explanations do something for you that makes your journey or God more understandable perhaps that is good. It is enough for me to trust and experience God's presence and leave those types of explanations to those so inclined. Christ to me just means to be anointed or smeared together with God (Greek root) as in One.

 

Again welcome,

Joseph

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Thanks to all for your welcome and your thoughts. I think the biggest thing I'm getting out of this discussion is that many people/churches focus on Christ because he is not abstract and most people have difficulty with an abstract being. I guess that is part of where the phrase, God the Father came from. That need to personify God. It's interesting to me that I transitioned from a child's concept of God the Father having him well mixed up with Santa Claus to an adult's aversion of that narrow personification. Hence my transitioning to making prayers gender neutral even when those around me still use the masculine.

I think this need to have a mental picture is something I can explain to my daughter that she will accept.

 

It's interesting to me to have had this conversation with you folks since my first reaction to her question was to think I needed to talk to my parish priest. I feel like the answers I have received are as satisfactory and likely more satisfactory than what I would have heard from someone who was trained in a seminary!

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