Tickling Of The Ears In Nicaea

- Courtesy of Witness of Truth

Introduction

"For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching, but, in accord with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, whereas they will be turned aside to myths." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4

In our day we see many people following many different teachings and doctrine which all claim to be true Christian teachings. They all claim that all their teachings are truth and that the Trinity, is among the most important teaching, since it is the teaching of God, Jesus and the "Holy Spirit or Ghost". If you do not believe the teaching then you are not a Christian, end of story. Also among such claims, there follows the usual accusation that you must be in a cult because you "deny the deity of Christ". However, at the same time, they are all failing to see that this teaching was really only documented the way it is now until after the apostles died. They also discard the fact that it was an idea that was debated over and finally made 'state doctrine' by an Emperor. Does this really give it weight as to it being a teaching of God?

Biblical truth or politics?

In the World History website resource we read:

"By the end of the Fourth Century, the Roman Emperor, Theodosius "issued a decree that the doctrine of the Trinity was to be the official state religion and that all subjects shall adhere to it."1

So first we see one major point involving this teaching, a "Roman Emperor" was the authority over this Christian matter, deciding over doctrine, but shouldn't it be the Bible that exercises the authority in deciding whether the Trinity should be taught or not, or at least a "Church" member? We constantly see this relying on man rather than God. Consider further:

Much to Constantine's annoyance, God's harmony continued to elude the Christian Church - as churchmen disagreed over the exact nature of Jesus. In 325, he called for the Church's first ecumenical (general) council, which was to meet in the city of Nicaea for the purpose of deciding by committee the nature of Jesus Christ and other issues.
Of Christianity's 1,800 or so bishops, 318 attended the conference - most of them from the eastern half of the empire. Constantine presided over the meeting. One group of bishops, led by the bishop Arius, claimed that God and Jesus were separate beings, that because Jesus was God's son there must have been a time when Jesus did not exist. Another group of bishops could not accept the notion that Jesus had been created from nothing and insisted that he had to be divine and therefore a part of God.2

First of all, there are a few things that should be disturbing to any Christian when researching the origins of this idea. Constantine, who was a pagan and practiced such things was the one that "presided" over this meeting in where they would decide which teaching was that they would choose to follow, trinity, or no trinity. Now out of the 1,800 claimed "bishops" only 318 attended. Obviously, if it was of such importance to the church, wouldn't the majority have showed up instead? However, no, we see there was a majority that did not show up to this meeting that would determine what Christianity would teach in regards to the Trinity— mainstream Christianity's primary doctrine!

Next, as Arius put up a very logical stance, his view of it was not shown favor. His claim was that since "Jesus was God's son" as plainly stated in the Bible, then "there must have been a time when Jesus did not exist." Is this sound reasoning? Well, if I claim to be the father of my son, then yes, there was a point in time when my son did not exist, that's the way it works, simple and logical. As we know we are created in the image of God, able to reflect his traits and measures of qualities, so then why would we be any different in this manner? Consider, he is called "the Father" for a reason right? How can you really be a "father" if your son has always really existed? Really, the only way you can be a father is if you created a son or daughter, in this case a son! Of course with God all things are possible, but in order to teach us his "nature", one might eventually wonder, why use such titles as Father and Son if they are not what they mean to us humans, that is— when you support the trinity doctrine? Arius was using simple logic, and he understood the truth (at least the part concerning that Jesus was not God), did not Jesus himself say:

I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have carefully hidden these things from wise and intellectual ones, and have revealed them to babes. - Luke 10:21, NWT

Yes, instead of plainly accepting what the Bible taught, those supporting the trinity teaching and promoting it before the king in order to get it approved as state religion were making the Bible itself more complex than it really was. For example, consider what moved them to such ideas, as taken from the above quote:

"[the] bishops could not accept the notion that Jesus had been created from nothing and insisted that he had to be divine"

It appears it was mainly based off emotion and personal opinion rather than the word of God! The Bible does say he was divine in so many words, he was even given authority over many things because of Jehovah God. Being divine does not mean it makes one "God the Almighty", but those that support such claims insist it does, judge for yourself according to the simple definition of divine and deity in the above link. We simply see those words imply that one who is divine is simply one that has godlike qualities, it does not say, is "God" himself.

The beginning of his way

On another note, Trinitarians seem to actually downplay the acts of any creation themselves since they feel Jesus could not have been created (perhaps too low for the Son of God, according to them). Was not creation one of God's greatest works? Was it not something that he took delight in, something he saw as "very good"? Though in contrast we have these bishops implying that Jesus being created would somehow remove from his honor or importance. But do we find that to be the case in the Bible? In no way! Jehovah gave his only "begotten-son" that he may die for sinners. Who of us with children would quickly give over our own son? Yes, this shows significantly the proper relationship Jehovah God and Jesus the son of God had, a very warm and close relationship, as proof, consider Proverbs 8:

"Jehovah himself produced me as the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago. From time indefinite I was installed, from the start, from times earlier than the earth. When there were no watery deeps I was brought forth as with labor pains, when there were no springs heavily charged with water. Before the mountains themselves had been settled down, ahead of the hills, I was brought forth as with labor pains, when as yet he had not made the earth and the open spaces and the first part of the dust masses of the productive land. When he prepared the heavens I was there; when he decreed a circle upon the face of the watery deep, when he made firm the cloud masses above, when he caused the fountains of the watery deep to be strong, when he set for the sea his decree that the waters themselves should not pass beyond his order, when he decreed the foundations of the earth, then I came to be beside him as a master worker, and I came to be the one he was specially fond of day by day, I being glad before him all the time, being glad at the productive land of his earth, and the things I was fond of were with the sons of men." - Proverbs 8:22-31, NWT

Of course this is Jesus speaking of his pre-human existence. Please consider how it states he was produced and brought forth "as with labor pains". We know this was a form of poetic speaking, he was not really birthed as we see babies born from a woman, but the point he was making, he was created or begotten. He came to be beside him. Jehovah was fond of him and he was glad and also specially fond of humans. Some may argue that this was only speaking of "wisdom" being personified and not of Jesus, but really, if you reason, you can come to the same conclusion by reading another example in the same style of writing, in this case speaking of Satan's beginning:

And the word of Jehovah continued to occur to me, saying: “Son of man, lift up a dirge concerning the king of Tyre, and you must say to him, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: “‘“You are sealing up a pattern, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. In Eden, the garden of God, you proved to be. Every precious stone was your covering, ruby, topaz and jasper; chrys´o·lite, onyx and jade; sapphire, turquoise and emerald; and of gold was the workmanship of your settings and your sockets in you. In the day of your being created they were made ready. You are the anointed cherub that is covering, and I have set you. On the holy mountain of God you proved to be. In the midst of fiery stones you walked about. You were faultless in your ways from the day of your being created until unrighteousness was found in you. “‘“Because of the abundance of your sales goods they filled the midst of you with violence, and you began to sin. And I shall put you as profane out of the mountain of God, and I shall destroy you, O cherub that is covering, from the midst of the fiery stones. “‘“Your heart became haughty because of your beauty. You brought your wisdom to ruin on account of your beaming splendor. Onto the earth I will throw you. - Ezekiel 28:11-17, NWT

If you consider the scriptures closely, you can see how Jehovah was lifting up this "dirge" or mournful poem against the king of Tyre, however, intertwined into this dirge it is obviously also alluding to Satan's beginning, the one that "proved to be in Eden" the one that was 'thrown to the earth.'3

So what can we draw from Proverbs 8 of much detail and beauty?

Arius & the Nicaea Bishops

Well let us consider the two views, those of Arius and of the other bishops who opposed him:

Arius reasoned that since Jesus was created, there was a time that he did not exist, and that he was the Son of God:

  • Proverbs 8:22 - 'Jehovah produced me…earliest achievements'
  • Matthew 3:17 - 'this is my Son…whom I have approved'
  • Revelation 3:14 - "the beginning of creation by God"
  • 1 Corinthians 11:3 - 'the head of Christ is God'
  • Revelation 3:12 - "…my God…"
  • John 1:34 - "this one is the Son of God"

From the above and non-exhaustive scripture regarding Jesus we learn some basics. He was produced, God called him "my son", he was the beginning of creation by God, Christ has a head, or someone higher than him— which is God himself, just as men have a head— which is Christ. Also we see Jesus constantly referring to God as "my God", and this is after he is in heaven resurrected, and according to Trinitarians, in "full deity", not when he is a man or part God! So was Arius' using sound reasoning according to the Bible? According to the Word of God, yes, he was not without basis at all!

Now let us consider what the other bishops had in mind in regards to their philosophy influenced thinking.

  • One God - God or "the LORD" - Supported by Bible
  • Three persons make up God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - Not supported in the Bible (naming the three in one sentence does not say they are one nor that they are all God)
  • They are all co-eternal and co-equal - Not supported in the Bible
  • The Son was not created - Not supported in the Bible
  • All three persons are God - God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit - (The Father is the only one referred to as God the Almighty, never the holy spirit or Jesus Christ)

To begin, lets first look at point 1, "One God." Bible support:

"Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. - Deuteronomy 6:4, NWT

Next, point 2-5, what do the scriptures say about these three "persons"?

Is the Father, God?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Peter 1:3, NWT

Jesus said to her: "Stop clinging to me. For I have not yet ascended to the Father. But be on your way to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and YOUR Father and to my God and YOUR God. - John 20:17, NWT

Yes, the "Father" is God, moreover, the "Father" is the God of Jesus also, even after his resurrection!

Is the Son, God?

In an extensive attempt to find as many scripture as possible that describe Jesus the Son of God as "God the Son" I only found those that described the Father as "God the Father", and scripture in regards to Jesus before and after his death all ascribe to him the same proper title, "Son of God" and never "God the Son":

there is actually to us one God the Father. - 1 Corinthians 8:6, NWT

and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:11, NWT

No, the Bible does not even once call Jesus, "God the Son" as the Trinitarian formula suggests. The Bible calls him the proper title, "the Son of God."

Is the "Holy Spirit", God?**

Now Jehovah is the Spirit. - 2 Corinthians 3:17, NWT

Now the Lord is the Spirit. - 2 Corinthians 3:17, NASB

Then the dust returns to the earth just as it happened to be and the spirit itself returns to the [true] God who gave it. - Ecclesiastes 12:7, NWT

The spirit of Jehovah now came upon him, and he became the judge of Israel… - Judges 3:10, NWT

…and he saw descending like a dove God’s spirit coming upon him… - Matthew 3:16, NWT

And even on the menservants and on the maidservants in those days I shall pour out my spirit. - Joel 2:29, NWT

The Bible answers, no, the spirit of God (the holy spirit) is not God. Rather this spirit belongs to Jehovah the Father and our God, and he distributes it to those he wishes it to be upon. So what is this spirit then? It is a force, that is active from God, please consider what the meaning of the Word is:

Strong's Dictionary on the Hebrew word Ruach #7307 - wind, breath

Strong's Dictionary on the Greek word Pnuema #4151 - air, blast, breeze

So yes, Jehovah's Witnesses have strong basis for calling God's spirit his "active force" since that is what it practically is. Air, breeze, current of wind are all active forces are they not?

From these brief examples its rather plain and clear, do the scriptures say anyone else is God the Almighty other than Jehovah? You may decide.

Complicating the Basics

As we can see, the trinity merely complicates what God plainly put in the Bible. He gave no elaborate explanations of "God the Son, God the Father and God the Holy Ghost." No, instead we find basic things such as, the Father is Jehovah God the Almighty, Jesus is the Son of God, Jehovah, and the holy spirit is from Jehovah. Now, one of these interpretations, in order for it to work, also needs some human explanation to just some casual reader. A man would have to explain the concept of the trinity to some average Joe that has never heard of such a teaching in order for this person to even begin to consider such teachings are found in the Bible, yes with external influence. In fact, there have been many long essays and books written to just attempt to explain such a teaching! On the other hand, we find a teaching that is easy enough for everyone and anyone to understand, why? Because we are in the image of God, and how does the family system work? Well, I can not be a father if I do not have a son, so that means that son can not be me, otherwise how am I to be his father? I can not be a husband if I do not have a wife can I? Of course not, I need a separate person aside from myself that also does not claim to be "the husband".

However, to try to explain that simple contradiction, Trinitarians have gone to the extent of patching that loophole by saying that they are three separate persons, but just one God. What that leaves them with is, an easy way out by just saying, "how can you expect to understand God, we are only humans, the trinity is a mystery, so it must be from God!"

So they would have us to believe that we are to draw close to a triad Jehovah-Jesus-holy spirit God. So who are we praying to? Jehovah, Jesus the holy spirit or just "God"? Or can we just pick? Well, who did Jesus pray to? As the scriptures tell us, to "the Father". But who is the Father? As the scripture tells us, "Jehovah."

"And now, O Jehovah, you are our Father." - Isaiah 64:8, NWT

So then its reasonable to conclude Jesus too prayed to Jehovah "our Father." And it makes sense, who else is referred to as the hearer of prayer other than Jehovah?

Again though, Trinitarians patch up, "Jesus while on earth prayed to God, Jehovah is God's many names!"

So if Jehovah is God, then who is Jesus? Oh right, the scriptures say, "the Son of God."

As we can see, its just a big vicious circle that you find yourself in with this teaching.

Conclusion

Now back in square one. Who of the bishop's at Nicaea had strong basis for saying that Jesus was created, did not always exist, was "the Son of God", and was not "God the Son"? Also, who seemed to be more influenced by mere emotion and personal opinion steered by philosophical views? We would have to conclude that, those that approved of such a triad God teaching were molding their God from what they thought God should have been in nature according to their own desires, a tickling to their ears— something that sounded good to them.

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